Roberto Bolano's Fiction

Roberto Bolano's Fiction Cover

Roberto Bolano's Fiction

An Expanding Universe

By Chris Andrews

Columbia University Press, Hardcover, 9780231168069, 279pp.

Publication Date: July 29, 2014


Since the publication of The Savage Detectives in 2007, the work of Roberto Bola?o (1953-2003) has achieved an acclaim rarely enjoyed by literature in translation. Chris Andrews, a leading translator of Bola?o'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 Bola?o'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 Bola?o's fiction in English translation, examining the reasons behind its popularity. Subsequent chapters explore aspects of Bola?o's fictional universe and the political, ethical, and aesthetic values that shape it. Bola?o 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.

About the Author
Chris Andrews teaches at Western Sydney University, where he is a member of the Writing and Society Research Center. He has translated ten books by Roberto Bola?o. His book Lime Green Chair won the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize.