Synopses & Reviews
From the brilliant mind of the bestselling, award-winning author of The Sound of Things Falling, a powerful novel about a legendary political cartoonist.
Javier Mallarino is a living legend. He is his country’s most influential political cartoonist, the consciousness of a nation. A man capable of repealing laws, overturning judges’ decisions, destroying politicians’ careers with his art. His weapons are pen and ink. Those in power fear him and pay him homage.
At sixty-five, after four decades of a brilliant career, he’s at the height of his powers. But this all changes when he’s paid an unexpected visit from a young woman who upends his sense of personal history and forces him to re-evaluate his life and work, questioning his position in the world.
In Reputations, Juan Gabriel Vásquez examines the weight of the past, how a public persona intersects with private histories, and the burdens and surprises of memory. In this intimate novel that recalls authors like Coetzee and Ian McEwan, Vásquez plumbs universal experiences to create a masterful story, one that reverberates long after you turn the final page.
Javier Mallarino renowned political cartoonist has reached the apex of his career. He’s feted at a ceremony with speeches and a commemorative stamp while his estranged wife (whom he loves) watches from the audience. But a film tribute shown during the program triggers something in the memory of another woman in the audience unraveling several lives as the past is revisited. Mallarino is forced to reexamine through the eyes of this woman the very basis of his reputation an accusation of sexual misconduct he implied in a caricature that destroyed the career of a politician and eventually led to his death. Colombia’s violent past has receded in this Bogotá set novel; instead the author seeks to distill the nation’s collective experience into universal truths that transcend history. In McLean’s translation Vásquez’s prose is luminous the spooling and unspooling of his characters’ thoughts convincing and powerful. One of Vásquez’s greatest conundrums is the confluence of the public and private—how little control the individual has how easily a life is made or ruined by events or the will of others. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
“[A] captivating and thought-provoking experience.” Library Journal (STARRED)
“[S]pare but powerful…. A brisk and sophisticated study of a conscience in crisis.” Kirkus (STARRED)
“[A]n account of an old cartoonist eyeing his past and the shifting forms of perception, memory and truth. Brilliant.” Financial Times
About the Author
Juan Gabriel Vásquez‘s previous books include the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award winner and national bestseller, The Sound of Things Falling, as well as the award-winning The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana, and the story collection Lovers on All Saints’ Day. Vásquez’s novels have been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. After sixteen years in France, Belgium, and Spain, he now lives in Bogotá.
Anne McLean translates Latin American and Spanish novels, short stories, memoirs, and other writings. She has twice won both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Premio Valle Inclán, and received the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Juan Gabriel Vásquez for his novel The Sound of Things Falling. She lives in Toronto.