I will admit that I haven't read anything by National Book Award finalist Cristina García (for Dreaming in Cuban, 1992)—although there are a couple of things that have drawn me to The Lady Matador's Hotel, her newest novel.
For one, BookPage reviewer Rebecca Shapiro compares it to Ann Patchett's Bel Canto, one of my favorite books; both novels are about a group of seemingly random international characters thrown together in the wake of political turmoil. In Bel Canto, the characters are thrown together in an embassy, all hostages. In The Lady Matador's Hotel, they are guests at a hotel. Instead of an opera singer, the center figure is—you guessed it—a female matador.
Which brings me to my second reason for wanting to pick up this book. I lived in Andalucía for a year in college and became somewhat fascinated by the sport of bullfighting, eventually going to watch a corrida de toro in Seville. As you might imagine, female matadors are few and far between, so it's interesting that García chose to write about such an unusual character.
In this book trailer, García explains why she chose the characters she did:
Does this trailer make you curious to read The Lady Matador's Hotel?