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
Author of 2666 and many other acclaimed works, Roberto Bolano (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile, and later lived in Mexico, Paris, and Spain. He has been acclaimed "by far the most exciting writer to come from south of the Rio Grande in a long time" (Ilan Stavans, The Los Angeles Times)," and as "the real thing and the rarest" (Susan Sontag). Among his many prizes are the extremely prestigious Herralde de Novela Award and the Premio Romulo Gallegos. He was widely considered to be the greatest Latin American writer of his generation. He wrote nine novels, two story collections, and five books of poetry, before dying in July 2003 at the age of 50.

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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