New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesárea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run. The explosive first long work by "the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time" (Ilan Stavans, Los Angeles Times), The Savage Detectives follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa. This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters; their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum; a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz; a foul-mouthed American graduate student; a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade; the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky; a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers; the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire; an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola; and assorted hangers-on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real-life literary figures, and random acquaintances. A polymathic descendant of Borges and Pynchon, Roberto Bolaño traces the hidden connection between literature and violence in a world where national boundaries are fluid and death lurks in the shadow of the avant-garde. The Savage Detectives is a dazzling original, the first great Latin American novel of the twenty-first century.
This is the first collection by the universally acclaimed Chilean author to be published in English and it is an outstanding introduction to Bolaño's writing. Bolaño's narrators are grappling with their own private quests while living in the margins, on the edges, in constant flight from nightmarish threats. His stories are often witty, frequently melancholy and always original.
THE POSTHUMOUS MASTERWORK FROM "ONE OF THE GREATEST AND MOST INFLUENTIAL MODERN WRITERS" (JAMES WOOD, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW) Composed in the last years of Roberto Bolaño's life, 2666 was greeted across Europe and Latin America as his highest achievement, surpassing even his previous work in its strangeness, beauty, and scope. Its throng of unforgettable characters includes academics and convicts, an American sportswriter, an elusive German novelist, and a teenage student and her widowed, mentally unstable father. Their lives intersect in the urban sprawl of SantaTeresa—a fictional Juárez—on the U.S.-Mexico border, where hundreds of young factory workers, in the novel as in life, have disappeared.
Begun in the 1980s and worked on until the author's death in 2003, The Woes of the True Policeman is Roberto Bolaño's last, unfinished novel. The novel follows Amalfitano—an exiled Chilean university professor and widower with a teenage daughter—as his political disillusionment and love of poetry lead to the scandal that will force him to flee from Barcelona and take him to Santa Teresa, Mexico. This border town is haunted by dark tales of murdered women and populated by characters such as Sorcha, who fought in the Andalusia Blue Division in the Spanish Civil War, and Castillo, who makes his living selling his forgeries of Larry Rivers paintings to wealthy Texans. It is here that Amalfitano meets Arcimboldi, a magician and writer whose work highlights the provisional and fragile nature of literature and life. Woes of the True Policeman is an exciting, kaleidoscopic novel, lyrical and intense, yet darkly humorous. Exploring the roots of memory and the limits of art, it marks the culmination of one of the great careers of world literature.
A phenomenally unusual three-way murder mystery. With a murder at its heart, Roberto Bolano’s The Skating Rink is, among other things, a crime novel. Murder seems to have exerted a fascination for the endlessly talented Bolano, who in his last interview, according to The Observer, “declared, in all apparent seriousness, that what he would most like to have been was a homicide detective.” Set in the seaside town of Z, north of Barcelona, The Skating Rink is told in short, suspenseful chapters by three male narrators, and revolves around a beautiful figure skating champion, Nuria Martí. A ruined mansion, knife-wielding women, political corruption, sex, and jealousy all appear in this atmospheric chronicle of a single summer season in a seaside town, with its vacationers, businessmen, immigrants, bureaucrats, social workers, and drifters.
A tour de force, Amulet is a highly charged first-person, semi-hallucinatory novel that embodies in one woman's voice the melancholy and violent recent history of Latin America. Amulet is a monologue, like Bolano's acclaimed debut in English, By Night in Chile. The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture, a Uruguayan woman who moved to Mexico in the 1960s, becoming the "Mother of Mexican Poetry," hanging out with the young poets in the cafés and bars of the University. She's tall, thin, and blonde, and her favorite young poet in the 1970s is none other than Arturo Belano (Bolano's fictional stand-in throughout his books). As well as her young poets, Auxilio recalls three remarkable women: the melancholic young philosopher Elena, the exiled Catalan painter Remedios Varo, and Lilian Serpas, a poet who once slept with Che Guevara. And in the course of her imaginary visit to the house of Remedios Varo, Auxilio sees an uncanny landscape, a kind of chasm. This chasm reappears in a vision at the end of the book: an army of children is marching toward it, singing as they go. The children are the idealistic young Latin Americans who came to maturity in the '70s, and the last words of the novel are: "And that song is our amulet."
Bestselling author William Peter Blatty warms our hearts with a funny yet deeply moving nostalgic tale of memory, mystery . . . and miracles. New York, 1941: Joey El Bueno is just a smart-aleck kid, confounding the nuns and bullies at St. Stephen's school on East 28th Street when he first meets Jane Bent, a freckle-faced girl with red pigtails and yellow smiley-face barrettes who seems to know him better than he knows himself. A magical afternoon at the movies, watching Cary Grant in Gunga Din, is the beginning of a puzzling friendship that soon leaves Joey baffled and bewildered. Jane is like nobody he has ever met. She comes and goes at will, nobody else seems to have heard of her, and is it true that she once levitated six feet off the ground at the refreshment counter of the old Superior movie house on Third Avenue? Joey, an avid reader of pulp magazines and comic books, is no stranger to amazing stories, but Jane is a bewitching enigma that keeps him guessing for the rest of his life—until, finally, it all makes sense. Rich with the warmth of a bygone era, Crazy captures both the giddy craziness of youth—and the sublime possibilities of existence. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Since the publication of The Savage Detectives in 2007, the work of Roberto Bolaño (1953–2003) has achieved an acclaim rarely enjoyed by literature in translation. Chris Andrews, a leading translator of Bolaño's work into English, explores the singular achievements of the author's oeuvre, engaging with its distinct style and key thematic concerns, incorporating his novels and stories into the larger history of Latin American and global literary fiction. Andrews provides new readings and interpretations of Bolaño's novels, including 2666, The Savage Detectives, and By Night in Chile, while at the same time examining the ideas and narrative strategies that unify his work. He begins with a consideration of the reception of Bolaño's fiction in English translation, examining the reasons behind its popularity. Subsequent chapters explore aspects of Bolaño's fictional universe and the political, ethical, and aesthetic values that shape it. Bolaño emerges as the inventor of a prodigiously effective "fiction-making system," a subtle handler of suspense, a chronicler of aimlessness, a celebrator of courage, an anatomist of evil, and a proponent of youthful openness. Written in a clear and engaging style, Roberto Bolano's Fiction offers an invaluable understanding of one of the most important authors of the last thirty years.
Published in Spain just before Bolano’s death, A Little Lumpen Novelita percolates with a fierce and tender love of women “Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime”: so Bianca begins her tale of growing up the hard way in Rome. Orphaned overnight as a teenager—“our parents died in a car crash on their first vacation without us”—she drops out of school, gets a crappy job, and drifts into bad company. Her younger brother brings home two petty criminals who need a place to stay. As the four of them share the family apartment and plot a strange crime, Bianca learns how low she can fall. Electric, tense with foreboding, and written in jagged, propulsive chapters, A Little Lumpen Novelita delivers a surprising, fractured fable of seizing control of one’s fate.
The essays of Roberto Bolano in English at last. Between Parentheses collects most of the newspaper columns and articles Bolano wrote during the last five years of his life, as well as the texts of some of his speeches and talks and a few scattered prologues. “Taken together,” as the editor Ignacio Echevarría remarks in his introduction, they provide “a personal cartography of the writer: the closest thing, among all his writings, to a kind of fragmented ‘autobiography.’” Bolano’s career as a nonfiction writer began in 1998, the year he became famous overnight for The Savage Detectives; he was suddenly in demand for articles and speeches, and he took to this new vocation like a duck to water. Cantankerous, irreverent, and insufferably opinionated, Bolano also could be tender (about his family and favorite places) as well as a fierce advocate for his heroes (Borges, Cortázar, Parra) and his favorite contemporaries, whose books he read assiduously and promoted generously. A demanding critic, he declares that in his “ideal literary kitchen there lives a warrior”: he argues for courage, and especially for bravery in the face of failure. Between Parentheses fully lives up to his own demands: “I ask for creativity from literary criticism, creativity at all levels.”
A stunning collection of short stories - mostly dealing with the sex trade - by the late Chilean master and author of The Savage Detectives. The Return contains thirteen unforgettable stories that seem to tell what Bolano called “the secret story,” “the one we’ll never know.” Bent on returning to haunt you, Bolano’s tales might concern the unexpected fate of a beautiful ex-girlfriend, or soccer, witchcraft, or a dream of meeting the poet Enrique Lihn:they always surprise. Consider the title story: a young partygoer collapses in a Parisian disco and dies on the dance floor. Just as his soul is departing his body,it realizes strange happenings are afoot around his now dead body — and what follows next defies the imagination (except Bolano’s own).
Bolano’s radical first novel makes its paperback debut as a New Directions Pearl. Written when he was only twenty-seven, Antwerp can be viewed as the Big Bang of Roberto Bolano’s fictional universe. This novel presents the genesis of Bolano’s enterprise in prose; all the elements are here, highly compressed, at the moment when his talent explodes. From this springboard—which Bolano chose to publish in 2002, twenty years after he’d written it (“and even that I can’t be certain of”)—as if testing out a high dive, he would plunge into the unexplored depths of the modern novel. Voices speak from a dream, from a nightmare, from passersby, from an omniscient narrator, from “Roberto Bolano.” Antwerp’s fractured narration in fifty-four sections moves in multiple directions and cuts to the bone.
A masterwork from the pre-eminent Latin American writer of his generation On vacation with his girlfriend, Ingeborg, the German war-game champion, Udo Berger, returns to a small town on the Costa Brava where he spent the summers of his childhood. Soon they meet another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, who introduce them to a band of locals—the Wolf, the Lamb, and El Quemado—and to the darker side of life in a resort town. Late one night, Charly disappears without a trace, and Udo’s well-ordered life is thrown into upheaval. Although Ingeborg and Hanna return to their lives in Germany, Udo refuses to leave the hotel. Soon he and El Quemado are enmeshed in a round of Third Reich, Udo’s favourite World War II strategy game, and he discovers that the game’s consequences may be all too real. Written in 1989 and found among Roberto Bolaño’s papers after his death, The Third Reich is a stunning exploration of memory and violence. Reading this quick, visceral novel, we see a world-class writer coming into his own—and exploring for the first time the themes that would define his masterpieces The Savage Detectives and 2666.
The first biography of Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño, the author of the international bestsellers The Savage Detectives and 2666 How to know the man behind works of fiction so prone to extravagance? In the first biography of Chilean novelist and poet Roberto Bolaño, journalist Mónica Maristain tracks Bolaño from his childhood in Chile to his youth in Mexico and his early infatuation with literature, to years of tremendous literary productivity in Spain, and to his untimely death and the posthumous and unprecedented stardom that came with the international publication of his novels The Savage Detectives and 2666. Bolaño: A Biography in Conversations is assembled from a series of rich interviews with the people who knew Bolaño best: we meet Bolaño's first publisher, who printed 225 copies of his first book of poetry; are introduced to his parents and an array of childhood friends, who watched a precocious young man turn into an obsessive writer who barely left the house; and witness the birth of Bolaño's famed Infrarealist literary movement. The book also sheds new light on aspects of Bolaño's life taht have long been shrouded in mystery: for the first time, we learn the details of his final illness and the drama of his final days. Throughout the book, Maristain present an image far removed from the stereotypes that have been created over the years, with the aim of reintroducing the man whose works grabbed readers worldwide. Maristain writes as a journalist and admirer, impressed with the power of Bolaño’s prose and the cool irony with which he faced the literary world. From the Hardcover edition.
A "biographical dictionary" gathering 30 brief accounts of poets, novelists and editors (all fictional) who espouse fascist or extremely right-wing political views. Nazi Literature in the Americas was the first of Roberto Bolano's books to reach a wide public. When it was published by Seix Barral in 1996, critics in Spain were quick to recognize the arrival of an important new talent. The book presents itself as a biographical dictionary of American writers who flirted with or espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is a tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition. Nazi Literature in the Americas is composed of short biographies, including descriptions of the writers' works, plus an epilogue ("for Monsters"), which includes even briefer biographies of persons mentioned in passing. All of the writers are imaginary, although they are all carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. Ernesto Pérez Masón, for example, in the sample included here, is an imaginary member of the real Orígenes group in Cuba, and his farcical clashes with José Lezama Lima recall stories about the spats between Lezama Lima and Virgilio Pinera, as recounted in Guillermo Cabrera Infante's Mea Cuba. The origins of the imaginary writers are diverse. Authors from twelve different countries are included. The countries with the most representatives are Argentina (8) and the USA (7).
Listed as a "2009 Indie Next List Poetry Top Ten" book by the American Booksellers Association: Roberto Bolano as he saw himself, in his own first calling as a poet. Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) has caught on like a house on fire, and The Romantic Dogs, a bilingual collection of forty-four poems, offers American readers their first chance to encounter this literary phenomenon as a poet: his own first and strongest literary persona. These poems, wide-ranging in forms and length, have appeared in magazines such as Harper's, Threepenny Review, The Believer, Boston Review, Soft Targets, Tin House, The Nation, Circumference, A Public Space, and Conduit. Bolano's poetic voice is like no other's: "At that time, I'd reached the age of twenty/and I was crazy. /I'd lost a country/but won a dream./Long as I had that dream/nothing else mattered...."
A deluxe edition of Bolano’s complete poetry Perhaps surprisingly to some of his fiction fans, Roberto Bolano touted poetry as the superior art form, able to approach an infinity in which “you become infinitely small without disappearing.” When asked, “What makes you believe you’re a better poet than a novelist?” Bolano replied, “The poetry makes me blush less.” The sum of his life’s work in his preferred medium, The Unknown University is a showcase of Bolano’s gift for freely crossing genres, with poems written in prose, stories in verse, and flashes of writing that can hardly be categorized. “Poetry,” he believed, “is braver than anyone.”
A collection that gathers everything Bolano was working on before his untimely death. A North American journalist in Paris is woken at 4 a.m. by a mysterious caller with urgent information. For V. S. Naipaul the prevalence of sodomy in Argentina is a symptom of the nation’s political ills. Daniela de Montecristo (familiar to readers of Nazi Literature in the Americas and 2666) recounts the loss of her virginity. Arturo Belano returns to Mexico City and meets the last disciples of Ulises Lima, who play in a band called The Asshole of Morelos. Belano’s son Gerónimo disappears in Berlin during the Days of Chaos in 2005. Memories of a return to the native land. Argentine writers as gangsters. Zombie schlock as allegory... The various pieces in the posthumous Secret of Evil extend the intricate, single web that is the work of Roberto Bolano.
Named a best book of 2015 by NPR, The Boston Globe, and Electric Literature. My Documents is the latest work from Alejandro Zambra, the award-winning Chilean writer whose first novel was heralded as the dawn of a new era in Chilean literature, and described by Junot Díaz as “a total knockout.” Now, in his first short story collection, Zambra gives us eleven stories of liars and ghosts, armed bandits and young lovers—brilliant portraits of life in Chile before and after Pinochet. The cumulative effect is that of a novel—or of eleven brief novels, intimate and uncanny, archived until now in a desktop folder innocuously called “My Documents.” Zambra’s remarkable vision and erudition is on full display here; this book offers clear evidence of a sublimely talented writer working at the height of his powers.
Roberto Bolaño is considered one of the most influential Latin American writers of his generation. The first English-language volume on the Chilean author, essays address such topics as Borges's influence, social memory, allegory, and neoliberalism and discuss works like 2666 , The Savage Detectives , and Distant Star .
In his inimitable New York voice, Pulitzer Prize winner Jimmy Breslin gives us a look through the keyhole at the people and places that define the Mafia—characters like John Gotti, Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso (named for his weapon of choice), and Jimmy "the Clam" Eppolito—interwoven with the remarkable true-crime saga of the good rat himself, Burt Kaplan of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the star witness in the recent trial of two NYPD detectives indicted for carrying out eight gangland executions. Through these unforgettable real-life and long-forgotten Mafia stories, Jimmy Breslin captures the moments in which the mob was made and broken.
A tale of bohemian youth on the make in Mexico City from a master of contemporary fiction, and a sublime precursor to The Savage Detectives Two young poets, Jan and Remo, find themselves adrift in Mexico City. Obsessed with poetry, and, above all, with science fiction, they are eager to forge a life in the literary world--or sacrifice themselves to it. Roberto Bolaño's The Spirit of Science Fiction is a story of youth hungry for revolution, notoriety, and sexual adventure, as they work to construct a reality out of the fragments of their dreams. But as close as these friends are, the city tugs them in opposite directions. Jan withdraws from the world, shutting himself in their shared rooftop apartment where he feverishly composes fan letters to the stars of science fiction, and dreams of cosmonauts and Nazis. Meanwhile, Remo runs headfirst into the future, spending his days and nights with a circle of wild young writers, seeking pleasure in the city's labyrinthine streets, rundown cafés, and murky bathhouses. This kaleidoscopic work of strange and tender beauty is a fitting introduction for readers uninitiated into the thrills of Roberto Bolaño's fiction, and an indispensable addition to an ecstatic and transgressive body of work.
A searing family drama from one of Latin America's most original voices One trip. Two love stories. Three voices. Lito is ten years old and is almost sure he can change the weather when he concentrates very hard. His father, Mario, anxious to create a memory that will last for his son's lifetime, takes him on a road trip in a truck called Pedro. But Lito doesn't know that this might be their last trip: Mario is gravely ill. Together, father and son embark on a journey takes them through strange geographies that seem to meld the different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. In the meantime, Lito's mother, Elena, restlessly seeks support in books, and soon undertakes an adventure of her own that will challenge her moral limits. Each narrative—of father, son, and mother—embodies one of the different ways that we talk to ourselves: through speech, through thought, and through writing. While neither of them dares to tell the complete truth to the other two, their individual voices nonetheless form a poignant conversation. Sooner or later, we all face loss. Andrés Neuman movingly narrates the ways the lives of those who survive loss are transformed; how that experience changes our ideas about time, memory, and our own bodies; and how the acts of reading, and of sex, can serve as powerful modes of resistance. Talking to Ourselves presents a tender yet unsentimental portrait of the workings of love and family; a reflection both on grief and on the consolation of words. Neuman, the author of the award-winning Traveler of the Century, displays his characteristic warmth, bittersweet humor, and wide-ranging intellect, giving us the rich, textured, and strikingly different voices and experiences of three singular characters while presenting, above all, a profound tribute to those who have ever had to care for a loved one.
One summer afternoon A.J.A. Symons is handed a peculiar novel called Hadrian the Seventh and, captivated by this forgotten masterpiece, determines to learn everything he can about its mysterious author. Symons proceeds as a detective might, investigating leads, collecting evidence and corresponding with witnesses. The object of his search is Frederick Rolfe, the self-appointed Baron Corvo - artist, rejected candidate for priesthood and author of serially autobiographical fictions - and its story is told in The Quest for Corvo: a dazzling portrait of an insoluble tangle of talents, frustrated ambitions, arrogance and paranoia. The book, which reads with all the excitement of detective fiction, is at once a literary pilgrimage and reflection on the obsessions and deceptions which lie at the heart of biography.
"A sharp, perceptive novel about family and forgiveness, Whiskey & Charlie will stay with me for a very long time." Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train A captivating debut novel of brothers who have drifted apart and the accident that will determine their future, by an unforgettable new voice in fiction. Whiskey and Charlie might have come from the same family, but they'd tell you two completely different stories about growing up. Whiskey is everything Charlie is not bold, daring, carefree and Charlie blames his twin brother for always stealing the limelight, always getting everything, always pushing Charlie back. By the time the twins reach adulthood, they are barely even speaking to each other. When they were just boys, the secret language they whispered back and forth over their crackly walkie-talkies connected them, in a way. The two-way alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) became their code, their lifeline. But as the brothers grew up, they grew apart. When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident and has slipped into a coma, Charlie can't make sense of it. Who is he without Whiskey? As days and weeks slip by and the chances of Whiskey recovering grow ever more slim, Charlie is forced to consider that he may never get to say all the things he wants to say. A compelling and unforgettable novel about rivalry and redemption, Whiskey & Charlie is perfect for anyone whose family has ever been less than picture-perfect. "A finely crafted novel that keeps us reading because we care about the characters. It's a terrific book."—Graeme Simsion, New York Times bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect
In the port of Alexandria, a very long time ago, Julius Caesar impregnated and then abandoned Cleopatra. The child of their union – groomed for greatness by his devoted mother but destined for tragedy – was called Caesarion. Little Caesar. History repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce. In our time, another boy, Ludwig, is born in Alexandria and again the father flees the scene of the birth. The boy and his mother are soon obliged to move on. She, Marthe, is stormy, impetuous and vain. She will not rest until she finds their ideal home – which needs to be both dramatic and cheap. And so Ludwig and his mother end up on a clifftop in Suffolk in a house being eaten from the inside by woodworm and eroded from the outside by the waves attacking its foundations. In the hours mother and son spend together preening in front of the dressing-table mirror, a melodramatic intensity is born. But this stormy novel does not develop as you might then predict. Instead it opens out into a page-turning exploration of the power of the absent parent versus the power of the too-present parent. And it moves between Cartagena in the Caribbean and Viennese crypts, the rugby pitch and the chemotherapy ward, LA and London, the Mediterranean and the Pacific, as Ludwig’s gifts as a pianist open the world up. Caesarion is a novel that asks how anyone can ever know for sure how to be the right parent for their child, and how any child can know how to let themselves be parented. It is a beautiful, strong and brave novel. It confirms Tommy Wieringa as a storyteller of great range and real distinction.
In Understanding Roberto Bolaño, Ricardo Gutiérrez-Mouat offers a comprehensive analysis of this critically acclaimed Chilean poet and novelist whose work brought global attention to Latin American literature in the 1960s unseen since the rise of García Márquez and magic realism. Best known for The Savage Detectives, winner of the Rómulo Gallegos Prize; the novella By Night in Chile; and the posthumously published novel 2666, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bolaño died in 2003 just as his reputation was becoming established. After a brief biographical sketch, Gutiérrez-Mouat chronologically contextualizes literary interpretations of Bolaño’s work in terms of his life, cultural background, and political ideals. Gutiérrez-Mouat explains Bolaño’s work to an English-speaking audience—including his relatively neglected poetry—and conveys a sense of where Bolaño fits in the Latin American tradition. Since his death, eleven of novels, four short story collections, and three poetry collections have been translated into English. The afterword addresses Bolaño’s status as a Latin American writer, as the former literary editor of El País claimed, “neither magical realist, nor baroque nor localist, but [creator of] an imaginary, extraterritorial mirror of Latin America, more as a kind of state of mind than a specific place.”
These five astonishing stories, along with two compelling essays, show Bolano as a magician, pulling bloodthirsty rabbits out of his hat. The stories in The Insufferable Gaucho — unpredictable and daring, highly controlled yet somehow haywire — might concern a stalwart rat police detective investigating terrible rodent crimes, or an elusive plagiarist, or an elderly Argentine lawyer giving up city life for an improbable return to the familye state on the Pampas, now gone to wrack and ruin. These five astonishing stories, along with two compelling essays, show Bolano as a magician, pulling bloodthirsty rabbits out of his hat.
"A good story and first-rate social science."—New York Times Book Review. A sinisterly funny modern-day Through the Looking Glass that begins with cyanide poisoning and ends in strawberry ice cream. The idea of the Native American living in perfect harmony with nature is one of the most cherished contemporary myths. But how truthful is this larger-than-life image? According to anthropologist Shepard Krech, the first humans in North America demonstrated all of the intelligence, self-interest, flexibility, and ability to make mistakes of human beings anywhere. As Nicholas Lemann put it in The New Yorker, "Krech is more than just a conventional-wisdom overturner; he has a serious larger point to make. . . . Concepts like ecology, waste, preservation, and even the natural (as distinct from human) world are entirely anachronistic when applied to Indians in the days before the European settlement of North America." "Offers a more complex portrait of Native American peoples, one that rejects mythologies, even those that both European and Native Americans might wish to embrace."—Washington Post "My story, the story of 'how I became a nun,' began very early in my life; I had just turned six. The beginning is marked by a vivid memory, which I can reconstruct down to the last detail. Before, there is nothing, and after, everything is an extension of the same vivid memory, continuous and unbroken, including the intervals of sleep, up to the point where I took the veil ." So starts Cesar Aira's astounding "autobiographical" novel. Intense and perfect, this invented narrative of childhood experience bristles with dramatic humor at each stage of growing up: a first ice cream, school, reading, games, friendship. The novel begins in Aira's hometown, Coronel Pringles. As self-awareness grows, the story rushes forward in a torrent of anecdotes which transform a world of uneventful happiness into something else: the anecdote becomes adventure, and adventure, fable, and then legend. Between memory and oblivion, reality and fiction, Cesar Aira's How I Became a Nun retains childhood's main treasures: the reality of fable and the delirium of invention. A few days after his fiftieth birthday, Aira noticed the thin rim of the moon, visible despite the rising sun. When his wife explained the phenomenon to him he was shocked that for fifty years he had known nothing about "something so obvious, so visible." This epiphany led him to write How I Became a Nun. With a subtle and melancholic sense of humor he reflects on his failures, on the meaning of life and the importance of literature.
Roberto Bolano takes us into an odd, dark, but comic underworld in this strangely tender noir novel. A Bolano classic. The Peruvian poet César Vallejo is in the hospital, afflicted with an undiagnosed illness and unable to stop hiccuping. His wife calls on an acquaintance of her friend Madame Reynaud: the mesmerist Pierre Pain. Pain, a timid bachelor, is in love with the widow Reynaud and agrees to help. But two mysterious Spanish men follow him and bribe him not to treat Vallejo. Ravaged by guilt and anxiety, Pain does not intend to abandon his new patient, but his access to the hospital is barred and Madame Reynaud mysteriously leaves Paris. Another practitioner of the occult sciences enters the story (working for Generalissimo Franco, using his mesmeric expertise to interrogate prisoners) — as do Mme. Curie, tarot cards, an assassination, and nightmares. Meanwhile, a haunted Monsieur Pain wanders the crepuscular, rainy streets of Paris. . . .
Social theories of the new cosmopolitanism have called attention to the central importance of translation, in areas such as global democracy, human rights and social movements, but translation studies has not engaged systematically with theories of cosmopolitanism. In Cosmopolitanism and Translation, Esperança Bielsa does just that by focussing on the lived experience of the cosmopolitan stranger, whether a traveller, migrant, refugee or homecomer. With reference to world literature, social theory and foreign news, she argues that this key figure of modernity has a central relevance in the cosmopolitanism debate. In nine chapters organised into four thematic sections, this book examines: theories and insights on "new cosmopolitanism" methodological cosmopolitanism translation as the experience of the foreign the notion of cosmopolitanism as openness to others living in translation and the question of the stranger. With detailed case studies centred on Bolaño, Adorno and Terzani and their work, Cosmopolitanism and Translation places translation at the heart of cosmopolitan theory and makes an essential contribution for students and researchers of both translation studies and social theory.
“Poetry is braver than anyone,” Roberto Bolan~o believed, and the proof is here in Tres, his most inventive and bracing poetry collection. Roberto Bolan~o’s Tres is a showcase of the author’s willingness to freely cross genres, with poems in prose, stories in verse, and flashes of writing that can hardly be categorized. As the title implies, the collection is composed of three sections. “Prose from Autumn in Gerona,” a cinematic series of prose poems, slowly reveals a subtle and emotional tale of unrequited love by presenting each scene, shattering it, and piecing it all back together, over and over again. The second part, “The Neochileans,” is a sort of On the Road in verse, which narrates the travels of a young Chilean band on tour in the far reaches of their country. Finally, the collection ends with a series of short poems that take us on “A Stroll Through Literature” and remind us of Bolan~o’s masterful ability to walk the line between the comically serious and the seriously comical.
Roberto Bolaño is considered one of the most influential Latin American writers of his generation. The first English-language volume on the Chilean author, essays address such topics as Borges's influence, social memory, allegory, and neoliberalism and discuss works like 2666 , The Savage Detectives , and Distant Star .
This book is the first in-depth exploration of the relationship between Latin American and European modernisms during the long twentieth century. Drawing on comparative, historical, and postcolonial reading strategies (including archival research), it seeks to reenergize the study of modernism by putting the spotlight on the cultural networks and aesthetic dialogues that developed between European and non-European writers, including Pablo Neruda, James Joyce, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, Victoria Ocampo, Roberto Bolaño, Julio Cortázar, Samuel Beckett, Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, and Malcolm Lowry. The book explores a wide range of texts that reflect these writers’ complex concerns with questions of exile, space, empire, colonization, reception, translation, human subjectivity, and modernist experimentation. By rethinking modernism comparatively and by placing this intricate web of cultural interconnections within an expansive transnational (and transcontinental) framework, this unique study opens up new perspectives that delineate the construction of a polycentric geography of modernism. It will be of interest to those studying global modernisms, as well as Latin American literature, transatlantic studies, comparative literature, world literature, translation studies, and the global south.
Roberto BolaÃ±o as World Literature provides an introduction to the Chilean novelist that highlights his connections with classic and contemporary masters of world literature and his investigation of topics of international interest, such as the rise of rightwing and neofascist movements during the last decades of the 20th century. But this anthology also shows how Roberto BolaÃ±o's participation in world literature is informed in his experiences, identity, and, more generally, cultural location as a Chilean, Latin American and, more generally, Hispanic writer and man. This book provides a corrective to readings of his novels as exclusively "postmodern" or as unproblematically representative of Chilean or Latin American reality. Roberto BolaÃ±o as World Literature thus helps readers to better understand such complex works as his monumental global five-part masterpiece 2666, his Chilean novels (Distant Star, By Night in Chile), and his Mexican narratives (Amulet, The Savage Detectives), among other works.
“Locascio’s story of a young American abroad is unflinching in its portrayal of sex, desire, racism, and the excitement and confusion of youth. Infused with erotics and politics, this is a novel that will haunt you.”—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer Roxana Olsen has always dreamed of going to Paris, and after high school graduation finally plans to travel there on a study abroad program—a welcome reprieve from the bruising fallout of her parents' divorce. But a logistical mix-up brings Roxana to Copenhagen instead, where she’s picked up at the airport by Søren, a twenty-eight year old guide who is meant to be her steward. Instantly drawn to one another, Roxana and Søren’s relationship turns romantic, and when he asks Roxana to accompany him to a small town in the north of Denmark for the rest of the summer, she doesn’t hesitate to accept. There, Roxana’s world narrows and opens as she experiences fantasy, ritual, and the pleasures of her body, a thrilling realm of erotic and domestic bliss. But as their relationship deepens, Søren’s temperament darkens, and Roxana finds herself increasingly drawn to a mysterious local outsider whom she learns is a refugee from the Balkan War. An erotic coming-of-age like no other, from a magnetic new voice in fiction, Open Me is a daringly original and darkly compelling portrait of a young woman discovering her power, her sex, and her voice; and an incisive examination of xenophobia, migration, and what it means to belong.
Once upon a time there was a war . . . and a young American who thought of himself as the Quiet American and the Ugly American, and who wished to be neither, who wanted instead to be the Wise American, or the Good American, but who eventually came to witness himself as the Real American and finally as simply the Fucking American. That's me. This is the story of Skip Sands—spy-in-training, engaged in Psychological Operations against the Vietcong—and the disasters that befall him thanks to his famous uncle, a war hero known in intelligence circles simply as the Colonel. This is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert into a war in which the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In its vision of human folly, and its gritty, sympathetic portraits of men and women desperate for an end to their loneliness, whether in sex or death or by the grace of God, this is a story like nothing in our literature. Tree of Smoke is Denis Johnson's first full-length novel in nine years, and his most gripping, beautiful, and powerful work to date. Tree of Smoke is the 2007 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.
Abe Ravelstein is a brilliant professor at a prominent midwestern university and a man who glories in training the movers and shakers of the political world. He has lived grandly and ferociously-and much beyond his means. His close friend Chick has suggested that he put forth a book of his convictions about the ideas which sustain humankind, or kill it, and much to Ravelstein's own surprise, he does and becomes a millionaire. Ravelstein suggests in turn that Chick write a memoir or a life of him, and during the course of a celebratory trip to Paris the two share thoughts on mortality, philosophy and history, loves and friends, old and new, and vaudeville routines from the remote past. The mood turns more somber once they have returned to the Midwest and Ravelstein succumbs to AIDS and Chick himself nearly dies. Deeply insightful and always moving, Saul Bellow's new novel is a journey through love and memory. It is brave, dark, and bleakly funny: an elegy to friendship and to lives well (or badly) lived.
A coming-of-age memoir by a Colombian-Cuban woman about shaping lessons from home into a new, queer life In this lyrical, coming-of-age memoir, Daisy Hernández chronicles what the women in her Cuban-Colombian family taught her about love, money, and race. Her mother warns her about envidia and men who seduce you with pastries, while one tía bemoans that her niece is turning out to be “una india” instead of an American. Another auntie instructs that when two people are close, they are bound to become like uña y mugre, fingernails and dirt, and that no, Daisy’s father is not godless. He’s simply praying to a candy dish that can be traced back to Africa. These lessons—rooted in women’s experiences of migration, colonization, y cariño—define in evocative detail what it means to grow up female in an immigrant home. In one story, Daisy sets out to defy the dictates of race and class that preoccupy her mother and tías, but dating women and transmen, and coming to identify as bisexual, leads her to unexpected questions. In another piece, NAFTA shuts local factories in her hometown on the outskirts of New York City, and she begins translating unemployment forms for her parents, moving between English and Spanish, as well as private and collective fears. In prose that is both memoir and commentary, Daisy reflects on reporting for the New York Times as the paper is rocked by the biggest plagiarism scandal in its history and plunged into debates about the role of race in the newsroom. A heartfelt exploration of family, identity, and language, A Cup of Water Under My Bed is ultimately a daughter’s story of finding herself and her community, and of creating a new, queer life.
Resuscitation of a Hanged Man is Denis Johnson's most fully realized novel to date, an enthralling and shattering reading experience, which probes the mysteries of faith, hope and love.