The Lady Matador's Hotel

A Novel

The Lady Matador's Hotel

National Book Award finalist Cristina García delivers a powerful and gorgeous novel about the intertwining lives of the denizens of a luxurious hotel in an unnamed Central American capital in the midst of political turmoil. The lives of six men and women converge over the course of one week. There is a Japanese-Mexican-American matadora in town for a bull-fighting competition; an ex-guerrilla now working as a waitress in the hotel coffee shop; a Korean manufacturer with an underage mistress ensconced in the honeymoon suite; an international adoption lawyer of German descent; a colonel who committed atrocities during his country’s long civil war; and a Cuban poet who has come with his American wife to adopt a local infant. With each day, their lives become further entangled, resulting in the unexpected—the clash of histories and the pull of revenge and desire. Cristina García’s magnificent orchestration of politics, the intimacies of daily life, and the frailty of human nature unfolds in a moving, ambitious, often comic, and unforgettable tale.
  • Scribner | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439181751 | 
  • January 2012
List Price $15.99 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer


Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Lady Matador's Hotel includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Suki Palacios, a female matador, is the talk of the town – or, perhaps, the country – when she arrives at a luxurious hotel in Central America. Though Suki may be the hotel’s most recognized patron, she is certainly not the only patron with a story.

Behind the hotel’s doors are an ex-guerilla, who works as a waitress seeking revenge; a colonel, who has committed atrocities during wartime and now cares only for good-looking women and his biceps; a Korean manufacturer, who is hiding his pregnant and underage mistress from the outside world; a calculating lawyer, who has a heavy hand in the country’s “adoption” industry; and a Cuban poet and his American wife who are trying to adopt a local baby.

These people come from different cultures and backgrounds. Yet for one week, their lives converge in a cacophony of violence, sexual desire, and the uncertainty of a time that is steeped in political turmoil. When all is said and done, each character must learn they live in a world where they must survive, or perish.
see more

More Books from this Author

King of Cuba
Dreams of Significant Girls
The Dog Who Loved the Moon
I Wanna Be Your Shoebox

About the Author

Cristina Garcia
No credit line

Cristina Garcia

Cristina García is the author of six novels, including the National Book Award finalist Dreaming in Cuban; children’s books; anthologies; and poetry. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Writers’ Award, among other honors, and is currently University Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos. Visit her website at