authors’ map > chile
Un Año – a novel, 1935
81 pages – Rights Sold: Brazil (Editora Rocco), Spanish/audio (Storytel, 2020)
Diez – short stories, 1937
189 pages – Rights Sold: Spanish/audio (Storytel, 2020)
Miltín 1934 – a novel, 1935
Ayer – a novel, 1935
109 pages – Rights Sold: English/UK+Commonwealth (Peirene Press, 2020), Spanish/audio (Storytel, 2020)
Amor and Cavilaciones are two new works that have come to light thanks to the efforts of the Juan Emar Foundation. They were published for the first time in Chile in 2014/5. Both texts show a young author who begins his quest and whose writing is taking shape.
Amor is a novel about artistic creation; in it a young intellectual takes
up the task of teaching to his great love all he knows about art so that they both will be able to cerebrally enjoy life. – 177 pages
Cavilaciones is also a reflection on creation and art; it makes explicit the thinking of Emar and illuminates the rest of his published work. – 113 pages
Accompanying her mother for neurological exams, the narrator of this book recognizes the images of brain activity projected on the monitor as similar to the celestial images one is familiar with. From that finding, Nona Fernández begins in this, her first narrative essay, to scrutinize the mechanisms of planetary and human memory.
Taking note of everything she reads, observes and thinks, in the manner of an exploratory Voyager space probe, Fernández links these records to her own history and that of her country. How the stars and people remember are questions that lead to wonder how societies remember, and how they forget. These questions are addressed with the wisdom and passion that characterize all of her work.
“A work … about the fragility and importance of memories as the threads that shape our personal and social identities.” – El Mercurio
“Nona Fernández climbs up to the stars to search for the roots of memory. The entire universe turns into the canvas for the memory of all of us.” – Leonardo Sanhueza
“Her words vibrate in her writing, just as the constellations shine from the sky.” – Revista ROSA
180 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Penguin Random House 2019) – Translations: Italian (Gran Via, 2020); USA/World English (Graywolf Press, 2023)
The Twilight Zone (La dimensión desconocida)
In the middle of the Chilean dictatorship, an anguished man arrives at the offices of an opposition magazine. He is an agent of the secret police. I want to talk, he says, and a journalist turns on the tape recorder to hear a testimony that will open the doors of a hitherto unknown dimension. Following the thread of this real episode, Nona Fernández activates the mechanisms of the imagination to access those corners where neither memory nor archival documents are able to reach.
Confronting her own experience with the stories of the man who tortured, the narrator enters the lives of the protagonists of that ominous testimony: that of a father who is detained in a van while taking his children to school and that of a child who changes names and lives to end up witnessing a massacre, among others.
“In The Twilight Zone, Nona Fernandez bravely and vividly reconstructs one of Latin America’s most brutal periods from the hazy perspective of those who were children during the Chilean military dictatorship of the 70s and 80s. In this hybrid work of fiction, rigorous journalism, and memoir full of wide-ranging cultural and literary references, Nona Fernández helps us glimpse the horrible reality of torture—and the even more terrifying way it becomes routine—in luminous prose of great intelligence and obsessive sincerity.” – Fernanda Melchor, author of Hurricane Season
“Nona Fernandez has stirred up the pot of Chilean literature like no one else writing today. In The Twilight Zone, she shows why the emotional toll of the Pinochet dictatorship has yet to subside, why any country that denies the crimes its police forces have committed remains a country stewing with dishonesty. Natasha Wimmer’s translation recreates the high voltage force of Fernandez’s prose with uncanny precision.” – Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew
“Halfway between journalism, literature and personal memory, Nona Fernández manages to show
the emotions of an entire nation towards a black and perhaps shameful past.” – Jury panel, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Award 2017
“A startling work that is to become a classic of Latin American letters.” – El País
238 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Random House Mondadori, 2016) – Translations: French (Stock Editions, 2019), Italian (Gran Vía, 2018), World English (Graywolf Press, 2021), Slovenian (Cankarkeva Zalozba, 2021), Swedish (Palabra Forlag, 2018), Turkish (Ithaki, 2022)
Mapocho tells the story of the return to Santiago of the young ‘la Rucia’, a suffering soul answering the call of her brother, ‘el Indio’. Since childhood, both have lived with their mother somewhere along an undefined Mediterranean shore, a place to which they have come after leaving a Chile under dictatorship. Fausto, their father, and a high- school teacher turned historian who stayed behind in Santiago writing a multi volume history of Chile, is believed dead by his children, for so their mother said. The siblings have then been forcibly separated by their mother to avoid incest, but one day after her death ‘el Indio’ gets in touch from Chile and asks ‘la Rucia’ to go back to him and to their native family home.
The first novel by Nona Fernández is an intense and risky text, a story of surreal dreamlike shadows, in which characters wander between life and death, truth and falsehood.
“Mapocho is one of those novels boldly disassembling the national mythology. Nona Fernandez presents a grotesque (but tender) Santiago, where all the times and the victims that the dirty [Mapocho] river has not managed to wash away, end up. With amazing dexterity, the narrative tries to put things in their place” – Lina Meruane
190 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Planeta 2002, Uqbar 2008, Alquimia 2018) – Rights Sold: Audio/Spanish (Audible, 2019), Spanish/Argentina (Eterna Cadencia, 2019), Spanish/Spain (Minúscula, 2020), Spanish/Bolivia (El Cuervo, 2019), Italian (Gran Vía Edizioni, 2017), German (Septime Verlag, 2015)
Av. 10 de Julio Huamachuco
Again and again, Greta is drawn to the “July 10th Street” in Santiago de Chile. It is the famous street of spare parts sellers. Here, Greta is looking for the parts needed to put back on track the school bus in which her only daughter died in an accident. Her restless search not only destroys her marriage, but leads her to the abandoned house of her childhood sweetheart Juan, the only building in the area that defies the demolition plans of a construction company. But Juan has disappeared. Was it murder or suicide? Was he kidnapped? Did his research on Colonia Dignidad endanger him? Or, as his wife still suspects, did he just run away?
264 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Uqbar) – Rights Sold: audio (Storytel, 2019), German (Septime Verlag, 2015)
A writer of soap operas finds in the trash collection point near her house a discarded picture depicting a man in martial arts garb. In its grainy quality she seems nonetheless to recognize her father, who she has not seen since just a child.
So starts a search for the long missing paternal figure where family history mixes with the tragedy of the military dictatorship. Love, Revenge, Death, A Small Child, Other Materials are the everyday ingredients the writer employs to structure her own TV series writing and – like in a game of fictions – this are the elements through which the novel develops. We delve into the narrator’s past by in turn following a familial love story, an investigation on the moral stature of those who fought against the barbarism of the repression, the price they had to pay… until the sudden loss of consciousness of the narrator’s son, urgently hospitalized, brings everything back to the present.
With great narrative talent, the author of Fuenzalida carries us through a maze of incredible interlaced stories that seem to say that it is impossible to close one’s eyes to the memories, whether personal or collective
254 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Random House Mondadori) – Rights Sold: Audio/Spanish (Storytel, 2020) Italian (Gran Via, 2019), French (Zinnia Editions, 2014), German (Septime Verlag, 2016)
Santiago in the ‘80s: a group of teenage classmates cannot forget a mysterious fellow student who has not been seen in class for long now. She was the daughter of a police detective who has now been accused to have committed several atrocities during the years of the dictatorship. The voices of the students alternate each others in remembering their classmate, even in their dreams.
In the context of the resurfacing of the memory of the violent years of the Chilean dictatorship and in short hypnotic and rarefied chapters, Fernandez builds a story that sits between dream and reality and questions which is which. The space invaders are the aliens from the adult world advancing towards the children via the dissemination of death and destruction and forcing them to question the nature of experience.
88 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Alquimia, 2013) – Rights Sold: Spanish/Spain (Minúscula, 2021), Brazilian Portuguese (Moinhos, 2021), Turkish (Ithaki, 2021), Spanish/Mexico & Central America (Fondo de Cultura Economica, 2019), Audio/Spanish (Storytel, 2020), Greek (Dardanos, 2020), USA/World (Graywolf Press, 2019), Spanish/Colombia (Laguna Libros, 2018), Italy (Edicola, 2017), French (Zinnia Editions, 2017), German (Septime Verlag, 2019), Spanish/Argentina (Eterna Cadencia, 2015)
Electric light first illuminated the main square of Santiago in 1883 and the narrator’s grandmother recalls the grandiose event of the ceremony that brought artificial light to Chile, she was there she said. But she was born in 1908… From this false memory, Fernandez explores family history, but also that of a country shaped by union leaders forced into exile, wooden horses, a typewriter, an eye in a pool blood, candles and the body of a president who made of death in office is mandate. Chilean Electric is a cryptography and an illumination that starting with the country’s literal darkness, sheds light in an impressionistic, lyrical style on the dark history of the disappeared, the murdered, the hanged. It is also the continuation of one of the most important personal projects of contemporary literature in Spanish. A kind of luminous Morse whose ultimate intent is to do away with the shadows for all of us.
100 pages – Original language: Spanish (Alquímia, 2015, Santiago de Chile) – Rights Sold: Audio/Spanish (Audible, 2019) Spanish/World (Minúscula, 2018), German (Septime Verlag, 2016), Italy (Edicola, 2017)
A seven-year-old girl who smokes and has the occasional drink with her dad and his colleagues. Who hides from her depressed mother the fact she is missing school often enough to be able to travel with her father, and who also has a precocious, sharp commercial sense and an undeniable vocation for the farcical. These are the distinguishing features of M., the peculiar protagonist and narrating voice of Kramp!
M. is the daughter of a door-to-door representative of hardware materials and of an oddly absent mother with a secret past. Her simple, but carefully planned, appearance at her father’s side during his sales trips becomes a powerful tool in convincing buyers to place orders. So much so that requests for her services start coming in from fellow door-to-door salesmen. And it is through the products her father peddles that M. tries to understand the world around her.
This precarious and picaresque world built amongst low quality nails and hammers crashes to the ground when a secret is revealed and re-awakens the figure of a mother up to that moment in the background.
Kramp explores themes such as the country’s social developments through the portrayal of a changing labour market (the fading world of door-to-door salesmen) or the ghosts left behind by the years of the dictatorship, but it is the deterioration of touching complicity between a father and his daughter the real tragedy the pages hide. With control over language, precision and care Kramp Ferrada enters the field of the adult novel demonstrating an unusual maturity and an enviable ease. A great critical and sales success in Chile where it was published in 2017 by Emecé.
Winner of the BEST NOVEL CRITICS AWARD 2017
Winner of the MINISTRY OF CULTURE BEST NOVEL PRIZE October 2018
Winner of the CITY OF SANTIAGO MUNICIPAL PRIZE December 2018
132 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Emecé/Planeta Chile, Santiago, 2017). Foreign Editions: English/North America (Tin House, 2021), German (Berenberg Verlag, 2021), Audio/Spanish (Storytel, 2020), Italian (Edicola, 2018), Danish (Jensen & Dalgaard, 2020), Brazilian Portuguese (Moinhos Editora, 2020), Spanish/Spain-Mexico-Colombia (Alianza, 2019), Spanish/Argentina-Uruguay (Emecé/Planeta Argentina, 2020)
Enrique Winter is reported to the police for abandoning his mother Krystyna in abject conditions. After the intervention of the public force and of all those who want to take advantage of the old woman, her grandson begins to investigate how it came to that. But it is already late because of the rapid deterioration of Krystyna’s health. An erratic trip to the native Poland of the protagonist deepens the impossibility of recovery, in the first of the four seasons of the touching Aria. From «Winter», the account of the ancestors, peasants of German origins lost in the Napoleonic and national wars prior to the burgeoning of the textile industry in Łódź and the birth of Krystyna, to her own «Spring» between childhood and the two world wars and her “Summer” in Chile, a survivor amongst the suicides in the family and the dictatorship that she supports, this novel records the disappearance of the author’s family, renowned narrator and poet, while trying to rebuild the past of his estranged, reclusive father, after the coup had tried to obliterate it.
Aria is a long and powerfully original narrative, part historical novel and part auto-fiction, accounting for more than two centuries of horrors in some of the most shameful conflicts in the West, whose participants were to be found on both sides of the Atlantic.
145,000 words – Original Language: Spanish – Foreign Editions: Audio/Spanish (Storytel, 2020)
Bolsas de basura (Bin Bags, 2015)
Two veterinary students, Miguel and Brenda, have brought their relationship to a painful end. They are united -and were eventually separated- by the pursuit of an elusive plan: the realization of an ideal of ‘extreme beauty’. This quest takes Brenda to obsessively dedicate herself to collecting the carcasses of dead dogs and teaching herself taxidermy in order to return them to a lifelike state. Meanwhile Miguel spends a year working on boats and herding goats until he is accused of the murder of a transvestite he has sex with. These are two characters fascinated by finding beauty in what is generally ignored, reviled or neglected. And yet it may just be that this compulsive quest is misguided, that the ideal had already been attained: there it was, the two of them together, the lovers, the unity that once had been an ‘extreme beauty’.
With echoes of Onetti and Clarice Lispector in literature, and cinematic atmospheres close to Lynch, Carlos Reygadas and above all Cronenberg’s “Crash” with its fetishist abundance of bent metals and broken bodies, Winter structures the novel in short fragments: a narrative that incorporates a variety of registers, from poetic vignettes to legal documentation, email transcriptions, and direct testimony. Hailed by Chilean literary circles and media, here is the first novel by an author we will be talking about for a long time!
193 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Alquímia, Santiago de Chile)