Monday, December 15, 2008


Have you ever felt like you were the last person to find out about something important or artistically great? That was the feeling that overcame me as I confidently brought up the subject of Chilean born writer Roberto Bolano to a couple of my highly literate friends. One of my friends was gracious in his response while the other, who lived in Chile for 20 years, simply rolled his eyes and pitied me. Luckily for me, and the rest of Austin, my well informed colleagues at the Austin Public Library have already acquired many of his books including a title that appears in the New York Times as one of the best books for 2008, 2666. However, be forewarned. If you’re expecting fantastical tales involving magical realism you will be sorely disappointed. Bolano’s fiction is bracing and dark and in keeping with a man who has not lived an easy life.

English Translations:


The savage detectives

Nazi literature in the Americas

Last evenings on Earth


Distant star

By night in Chile

Original Spanish:

Nocturno de Chile


Los detectives salvajes

El secreto del mal

Putas asesinas

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