Gustavo Faverón Patriau: Vivir abajo [Living in the Basement]

The latest addition to my website is Gustavo Faverón Patriau‘s Vivir abajo [Living in the Basement]. This novel, already declared a key novel of twenty-first century Latin American literature by some critics, is a brilliant and complex novel about the politics and violence of Latin America and the United States but also of their culture. We follow around a dozen stories, with all of the key characters having a dark past, sometimes more than one past, and invariably very dark, which we gradually learn about during the course of the book. The stories all eventually link up, directly or indirectly, with characters from one story appearing in unexpected ways in another story. All are involved with violence in one way or another, though they also get involved in culture, particularly literature and cinema, though also art and music. The main point is to show the violence in Latin America, with particular reference to Peru, Paraguay and Chile, and US involvement in this violence but also to show the cultural background to the region. It is a brilliant book and it is to be hoped that some publisher will be brave enough to publish it in English.

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