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The Polish Boxer
Synopses & Reviews
Eduardo Halfon's prose is delicate, precise, and as ineffable as precocious art--a lighthouse that illuminates everything. --FRANCISCO GOLDMAN, author of Say Her Name
Eduardo Halfon belongs to a new generation of Latin American writers who, from the beginning, demonstrate an impeccable mastery of their craft, without any hesitation in the use of language. --SERGIO RAMIREZ, former Vice President of Nicaragua and author of Margarita, How Beautiful the Sea
The Polish Boxer is a brilliant, unclassifiable book of encounters, impressions, and improvisations--an enchanting and unnerving account of one writer's journey from Guatemala to America to a Gypsy camp in Serbia, which calls into question the very ground of fiction. Is this a novel? A collection of stories narrated by a certain Eduardo Halfon? A memoir by one of the most talented and exciting writers of our time? It is all three--and much more: a book for the ages, which can be read in one sitting, and then again, and again, and again. --CHRISTOPHER MERRILL, author of The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War
The Polish Boxer covers a vast landscape of human experience while enfolding a search for origins: a grandson tries to make sense of his grandfather's past and the story behind his numbered tattoo; a Serbian classical pianist longs for his forbidden heritage; a Mayan poet is torn between his studies and filial obligations; a striking young Israeli woman seeks answers in Central America; a university professor yearns for knowledge that he can't find in books and discovers something unexpected at a Mark Twain conference. Drawn to what lies beyond the range of reason, they all reach for the beautiful and fleeting, whether through humor, music, poetry, or unspoken words. Across his encounters with each of them, the narrator--a Guatemalan literature professor and writer named Eduardo Halfon--pursues his most enigmatic subject: himself.
Mapping the geography of identity in a world scarred by a legacy of violence and exile, The Polish Boxer marks the debut of a major new Latin American voice in English.
Eduardo Halfon has been cited as among the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogota and is the recipient of Spain's prestigious Jose Maria de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue the story of The Polish Boxer, which is his first novel to be published in English. He travels frequently to his native Guatemala and lives in Nebraska.
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