The Savage Detectives

By Roberto Bolano; Natasha Wimmer (Translator)
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374191481, 577pp.)

Publication Date: April 3, 2007

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Description

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 Cesarea 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 Bolano 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.




About the Author
Roberto Bolano was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the Infrarealist poetry movement. His first full-length novel, "The Savage Detectives", received the Herralde Prize and the Romulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. Roberto Bolano died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of fifty.

Natasha Wimmer is a translator who has worked on Roberto Bolano's "2666", for which she was awarded the PEN Translation prize in 2009, and "The Savage Detectives". She lives in New York.
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