Andrés Barba: República luminosa (A Luminous Republic)

The latest addition to my website is Andrés Barba‘s República luminosa (A Luminous Republic). The novel is set in an unnamed Latin American country. Our unnamed narrator has recently taken over the social service department in a small town, by the jungle, with the task of helping the indigenous community. Gradually he and the people of the town notice groups of children, aged nine to thirteen, coming into the town and begging. Where did they come from and what is the strange language they seem to be using? Gradually, they become more aggressive. They seem to disappear at night and no-one knows where to. Moreover, they do not seem to have a leader. When they start attacking people, the police go searching for them but without success. When they attack a supermarket, injuring and killing people, they seem to disappear and cannot be found. Barba gives us a brilliant novel on the innocence (and lack thereof) of children, on how adults can often be helpless dealing with them and on various theories as to why these children do what they do, with a bit of post-truth thrown in.

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