About the book
The avocado carver was once a conquistador. This time, though, he aims to arrive in peace, as a governor, leading his relatives across the sea to a new world where they will found a settlement in a green valley. Yet his hopes for harmony with the indigenous people do not develop as planned. And distant dark forces conspire against him, certain that his relatives share a secret and forbidden heritage. His memories pursue him too, images of a childhood upon a faraway island, and of a dusty peninsula that he will never see again. As Green as Paradise is a lyrical weave of the governor’s story, flowing with fables of beauty and solitude. It is a tale of loves lost and dreams unfulfilled, of characters condemned to forge ahead in a world at once old and new: scribes and inquisitioners, soldiers and scholars, storytellers and warriors, a unicorn hunter and a pirate and a wanderer, a poet and a musician too. And amid story upon story, the governor carves dim codes into the pits of discarded avocados and remembers it all.
“A lyrical novel dealing with love, colonialism and transformation, As Green as Paradise is both engaging and thoughtful. Lifshey gives us a sweeping and broad retelling of our colonial past while at the same time telling an emotional, intimate tale.”
—Glenn Haya, Karolinska Institute, University Library
“Lifshey's elegant re-imagination of an aspect of colonial history is so visual and lush. Both beautiful and brilliant, this novel reminds us of how ephemeral international human conquests can be.”
—Carole Sargent, Director of the Office of Scholarly and Literary Publications, Georgetown University