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New Directions
280 pages
Product Description
<p><strong>A playful and entirely original novel masquerading as a mini-encyclopedia of nonexistent Nazi literature in our hemisphere by Roberto Bolano: "his generation's premier Latin-American writer" (<em>The New York Times</em>).<br /></strong></p> A tour de force of black humor and imaginary erudition, <em>Nazi Literature in the Americas</em> presents itself as a biographical dictionary of writers who espoused extreme right-wing ideologies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.<br /> <br /> Composed of short biographies about imaginary writers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Columbia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the USA, <em>Nazi Literature in the Americas</em> includes descriptions of the writers' works, cross references, a bibliography, and also an epilogue ("For Monsters"). All the writers are carefully and credibly situated in real literary worlds. There are fourteen thematic sections with titles such as "Forerunners and Figures of the Anti-Enlightenment," "Magicians, Mercenaries and Miserable Individuals," and "North American Poets."<br /> <br /> Brisk and pseudo-academic, <em>Nazi Literature in the Americas</em> delicately balances irony and pathos. Bolano does not simply use his writers for target practice: in the space of a few pages he manages to sketch character portraits that are often pathetically funny, sometimes surprisingly moving, and, on occasion, authentically chilling. A remarkably inventive, funny, and disquieting sui generis novel, <em>Nazi Literature in the Americas</em> offers a clear view into the workings of one of the most extraordinarily fecund literary imaginations of our time.<br />
New Directions
280 pages Review
Amazon Significant Seven, February 2008: As with the emergence of W.G. Sebald into English a decade ago, the most exciting new writer to watch is one we're just catching up with: the late Roberto Bolaño, whose ground-breaking fiction defined a generation of Spanish-speaking literature. In between last year's thrillingly meandering epic, <i>The Savage Detectives</i>, and the upcoming alleged masterwork, <i>2666</i>, comes a small and strange book (but no stranger than the rest), <i>Nazi Literature in the Americas</i>. Presented as a biographical encyclopedia of right-wing writers in North and South America, these short, invented lives are full of the stuff of minor literary scenes and forgotten books, with delusion and creation mixed in equal fashion. Funny, melancholy, surprisingly tender, and--once in a while--erupting into fury, Bolaño spins out tale after tale with the joy of sheer invention and the burden of inescapable history. <i>--Tom Nissley</i>