Eduardo Halfon: Duelo (Mourning)

The latest addition to my website is Eduardo Halfon‘s Duelo (Mourning). This is a book about memory and recovering memory. The narrator – called Eduardo Halfon – carries out two investigations. The first is to track down the story of his grandfather, who had been in various concentration camps during the Holocaust but had survived and emigrated to Guatemala. The grandfather had refused to return to Poland or, indeed, to speak Polish, because of what he saw as the betrayal of the Jews by the Poles. The second is to find out what really happened to his father’s brother, Salomón, who may or may not have drowned in a lake when he was five. Halfon tells an excellent story of the two investigations and of his family in Guatemala and the United States, making it one of the more worthwhile memoir-as-novel books.

2 Replies to “Eduardo Halfon: Duelo (Mourning)”

  1. It’s interesting to note that the Spanish version of the book is very different. The entire episode in Italy is from another volume, Signor Hoffman, as is the visit to Madame Maroszek (who is only briefly alluded to in Duelo). Halfon apparently likes to reshuffle his books when they are translated. The original title is probably intended to have a double meaning, as the Spanish word that is translated as “mourning” also means “duel.”

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