A lyrically written, sensual, and extraordinarily enjoyable novel in which a Renaissance anatomist’s astonishing discovery forever changes the female erotic universe.
In sixteenth-centruy Venice, celebrated physician Mateo Colombo finds himself behind bars at the behest of the Church authorities. His is a crime of disclosure, heinous and heretical in the Church’s eyes, in that his research threatens to subvert the whole secular order of Renaissance society. Like his namesake Christopher Colombus, he has made a discovery of enormous significance for humankind. Whereas Colombus voyaged outward to explore the world and found the Americas, Mateo Colombo looked inward, across the mons veneris, and uncovered the clitoris. Based on historical fact, The Anatomist is an utterly fascinating excursion into Renaissance Italy, as evocative of time and place as the work of Umberto Eco, and reminiscent of the earthy sensuality of Gabriel García Márquez. Perceptive and stirring, it ironically exposes not only the social hypocracies of the day, but also the prejudices and sexual taboos that may still be with us four hundred years later.
"Charmingly salacious…shows off the wonderful wit and narrative gifts of a welcome new Latin American writer." —National Public Radio
"Compelling and complex." —Philadelphia City Paper
"A fascinating book. The way Andahazi communicates the sense of exploration and possibility in Renaissance science and the inextricable links with philosophy and religion are extremely effective…gripping, a pleasure to read, and a very fine novel." –Iain Pears, author of An Instance of the Fingerpost
"With The Anatomist, Andahazi deftly mines that delicious vein of wit and sensuality that runs from Boccaccio to Fellini, while slyly dissecting one of man’s oldest obsessions: a woman’s pleasure." –Laura Esquivel, author of Like Water for Chocolate