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Thus, the stories that compose the book narrate of: a father and a son going hunting with the background of the recent death of the wife/mother; a couple of older homosexuals finding in pornography a path to inner growth and also the shadow of jealousy; a recently divorced woman locked in a house revisiting a childhood trauma; a Latino migrant in the United States reading a science fiction novel while trying to rebuild his relationship with a widow obsessed with physical deformities; a series of animals telling, in the first person, about their relationships with their masters, all American writers; etc.
Beyond its superficial variety, however, the tales of Iluminación are related to each other by the way in which they all are set, or suggest, the luminous spectrum of a family, of different types of families. The characters of the book, children, parents, animals, seem to achieve in each story an instance of transcendence in their private lives, the nucleus of an even mystical experience, but enlightenment is always here suggestion, always the edge, a loophole and not the thing itself, an instance of revelation that ends up not being one.
Each story frames reality and realistic modes in a crisis, breaks the shell of normality and installs stories on a plane of displaced emotions and reality, in which fiction is the only thing that counts.
108 pages – Original language: Spanish (Editorial El Cuervo, La Paz, 2017)
En el cuerpo una voz (In the Body, a Voice)
After the dissolution of Bolivia and the rule of law, brigades massacre each other in order to take control of the Eastern provinces. Two brothers flee from the henchmen of El General, a former military official known for practicing cannibalism.
Once the years of collapse are over, the Camba Nation is formed and a barren peace is imposed. Two members of the intelligence services are in charge of hunting down war criminals turned dissidents and to do so, they recruit one of the brothers, now a mature and cynic man. Together they travel to a deserted neighbourhood in southern Santa Cruz in order to carry out an act of revenge that throws us back to that “no man’s land” where this novel begins. With a dry, lyrical prose, En el cuerpo una voz captures, both in its realism and its delirium, the normalization of extreme violence and its effects in the lives of those that survived it.
224 pages – Original Language: Spanish (El Cuervo, Bolivia, 2017); Foreign editions: Spanish/Mexico (Almadía, 2018), Spanish/Spain+Argentina/Uruguay/Chile (Eterna Cadencia, 2018), Spanish/audio (Storytel, 2019)
La desaparición del paisaje (The Landscape Disappearance)
Vitor Flanegan left Santa Cruz de Bolivia because his mother had died when he was young and because, as he became an adult he understood that leaving was the only way of not becoming his father—a violent alcoholic man who struggled to overcome the death of his wife. Twelve years after leading an erratic lifestyle in the United States, Vitor returns home after having lost touch with the people he once loved. Three women represent his entire past life: María, his father’s widow, a substitute mother of sorts and a silent witness to his family’s dissolution; Fabia, Vitor’s sister, who resents him for having disappeared on her; and Laura, his old girlfriend, now married to someone else. La desaparición del paisaje is a novel about guilt, identity and what it means to outlive the people we love and the loneliness we are forced to bear.
272 Pages – Original language: Spanish World (Periférica, Spain 2015)