I just finished Fernando del Paso’s News from the Empire which I will be reviewing for The Quarterly Conversation in the fall. However, I do have some brief thoughts. It is a sprawling novel that is worth the read. It may help if you know something about Mexican history. A quick read of a few pages a Wikipedia would suffice. To call it a novel, though, might give the wrong idea. A better name might be fictive history. A times the book is purely novelistic, at other times it reads like a history book. Either way the breath of the novel is impressive and is an achievement.