Pachacuti: World Overturned

Pachacuti: World Overturned

By Lori Eshleman
2015 | 360 pp. | 978-0-86698-806-3 | Paperback 5.5 x 8.5 in
$16.95 | £12.95 |

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Three centuries after Columbus, uprisings in South America still held out the hope of a Pachacuti, or world-turning, which would reverse the fortunes of the Spanish and the Indians. One such revolt in the eighteenth-century Kingdom of Quito entwines the lives of three people in a story of desire and unextinguished hope that mirrors the complex relations between conquerors and the conquered. For Santiago Huamán the revolt sparks a quest to become a medicine man; for young Ana Alfaro it brings exile and an illicit love affair; and for the Jesuit inquisitor Gregorio Moncada, it precipitates spiritual doubt. From the baroque city of Quito to a remote hacienda in South America’s largest crater, Pachacuti: World Overturned captures the grandeur and decay of the Spanish Empire on the eve of disintegration.


Lori Eshleman has woven an intricate and marvelous Andean textile of many hues: history, politics, religion, hope, despair, jealousy, betrayal, and sex . . . The result is a nuanced and rich tapestry of local flavors, smells, rituals, terrain and expletives; a fast-moving book that avoids facile resolutions and paper-thin protagonists.
—Jaime Lara, Ph.D., Arizona State University


Pachacuti brings both Pululahua and Quito to life with the stories and struggles of those who inhabit this majestic land of volcanoes and jungles, and pulls the reader into the tumultuous times of 18th Century revolt against both the Spanish, and the Jesuit missionaries. Deftly weaving history with strong characters in conflict with both class and race, Eshleman returns the human elements, both inhuman and humane, that are so often stripped away from history.
—James Thomas Stevens, Author of Combing the Snakes from His Hair