“Wiener has rescued an intimate story from the family archive, a story that is also the infamous history of our continent, with her trademark intelligence and irreverent humor. Her prose, sober and forward, is fresh air; her view allows us to be testimonies of Latin America’s cycles of plundering and looting.”—Valeria Luiselli, author of The Lost Children Archive and Tell Me How It Ends

An award-winning Peruvian journalist and international writer delivers her stunning English breakthrough work, blending fact and fiction in a genre-bending story of love, desire, heritage, and racism haunted by the specter of colonialism and absent fathers.

In 1878, the Jewish-Austrian explorer Charles Wiener prepares to be heralded by the scientific community at the Exposition Universelle. The magnificent fair of “technological advances” numbers among its attractions a human zoo; it is ultimately a display of the peak of scientific racism and the European imperialist project. Wiener's exhibited pedigree: the near rediscovery of Machu Picchu, nearly 4,000 plundered artifacts, a book about Peru, and a child.

A century and half later, when Gabriela Wiener visits the museum that houses the Wiener collection, she recognizes herself in the brown faces of the ceramic vessels her great-great-grandfather pillaged. Distraught over converging personal crises—the discovery of her bastard lineage, the death of her father, and the revelation of his second secret family—Gabriela embarks on a quest to pick up the pieces of something shattered long ago and hopefully make it whole again. Her quest leads her to trace the footprints of her family's founder, an illegitimate family lineage shared by many others, and to confront the inheritance of identity itself.

Written in the spirit of haunting emotional works of reckoning by Carmen Maria Machado and Ayad Ahktar, Undiscovered is a culminating labor for our age, an earnest attempt to decolonize one’s own desire.

Translated by Julia Sanches

Release date: September 12, 2023

Publisher: HarperCollins

Print pages: 192

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