The resplendent beauty of Andrés Neuman’s prose, the thoughtful, reflective nature of his ideas, and the depth and vulnerability of his characters coalesce to make his writing among the finest in the world. His new novel, Fracture (translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia), is the story of Yoshie Watanabe, survivor of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings both — and stranger to neither loss nor love. Spanning decades and continents, Fracture reckons with fragility and breakage, deftly employing the Japanese art of kintsugi as metaphor in a masterful, tenderly told tale. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Critically acclaimed, prize-winning author Andrés Neuman's Fracture is
an ambitious literary novel set against Japan's 2011 nuclear accident
in a cross-cultural story about how every society remembers and forgets
Mr. Yoshie Watanabe, a former electronics company executive and a
survivor of the atomic bomb, has always lived like a fugitive from his
own memories. He's spent decades traveling the world, making a life in
different languages, only to find himself home again, living in Tokyo in
his old age.
On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, Watanabe, like
millions of others, is stunned by powerful tremors. A massive earthquake
has struck to the north, triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster — and
a stirring of the collective past. As the catastrophe unfolds,
Watanabe's mind, too, undergoes a tectonic shift. With his native land
yet again under nuclear threat, he braces himself to make the most
surprising decision of his nomadic life.
Meanwhile, four women who have known him intimately at various
points in time narrate their stories to a strangely obsessive
Argentinian journalist. Their memories, colored by their respective
cultures and describing different ways of loving, trace sociopolitical
maps of Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, and Madrid over the course of the
twentieth century. The result is a metalingual, border-defying
constellation of fractures in life and nature — proof that nothing
happens in only one place, that every human event reverberates to the
ends of the earth.
With unwavering empathy and bittersweet humor, and facing some of
the most urgent environmental concerns of our time, Andrés Neuman's
Fracture is a powerful novel about the resilience of humankind, and the beauty that can emerge from broken things.
"Andrés Neuman is a born storyteller. Fracture is a deeply generous, wise and resonant novel that glides effortlessly between the intimate and the global, the tragic and the comic, all underpinned by Neuman's electric, ludic intelligence. If you are about to turn the first page, you are very lucky — a reader on the threshold of a book that in the most wonderful of ways will enrich and enlarge your life." Owen Sheers, poet and playwright
"Traversing languages and cultures, decades and generations, Fracture unites its many fragments to form a powerful and redemptive vision of a single, and unbroken, human life. A searching, humane, and vital novel." Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries
"One of the things I love about Andrés Neuman's work is how he restores writing as the most powerful source of knowledge. Fracture, this dazzling and devastating novel, is a terrific demonstration of that." Alejandro Zambra, author of Ways of Going Home
"It is impossible to classify Andrés Neuman: each of his books is a new language adventure, guided by the intelligence and the pleasure of words. He never ceases to surprise us and is, doubtlessly, one of the most daring writers in Latin American literature, willing to change, challenge and explore, always with a unique elegance." Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire
"This feels like a massive step forward for Neuman in terms of scope and self-assurance, which is saying a lot after Traveler of the Century, Talking to Ourselves, and The Things We Don't Do... The way Neuman writes about failed relationships, about beauty at different ages, about sex and longing and mystery... is so heartfelt and human." Chad Post, Three Percent Blog
"The fragmented and
destructive power wielded by memory and trauma in developing one's
outlook on life, coupled with a two-pronged narrative technique for
character development, makes Neuman's [Fracture] a winner." Library Journal (Starred Review)
builds meaning in the book's recursive structure and language....This weighty meditation on human interconnection is well worth a look." Publishers Weekly
"Neuman is a literary alchemist....[Fracture is] a moving meditation on the reverberating waves that shape us and the inescapable impermanence of life." Kirkus Reviews
“Neuman is one of the rare writers who can distill the most complex human emotions with apparent effortlessness. Bolaño's prophecy seems to have come true: Andrés Neuman has transcended the boundaries of geography, time, and language to become one of the most significant writers of the early twenty-first century.” Alex McElroy, Music and Literature
"Fracture is adventurous, big-hearted and seductive, and it has an appetite for life that is, to me, the trademark of great fiction. Neuman is as generous here as ever." Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling
About the Author
Andrés Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Spain. He was selected as one of Granta's Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was included in the Bogotá39 list. Traveler of the Century was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain's two most prestigious literary awards, as well as a special commendation from the jury of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Neuman has taught Latin American literature at the University of Granada.
Nick Caistor is a British translator from Spanish, French and Portuguese. He lived in Argentina for a number of years, and was the BBC Latin America analyst. He has translated more than 70 works of fiction, including authors such as Isabel Allende, Roberto Arlt, Mario Benedetti, Julio Cortazar, Maria Duenyas, Fogwill, Juan Marse, Eduardo Mendoza, Juan Carlos Onetti and Jose Saramago.
Lorenza Garcia was born and brought up in England. She spent her early twenties living and working in Iceland and Spain. In 1998 she graduated from Goldsmith's College with a First Class Honours degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies. She moved to France in 2001 where she lived for seven years. Since 2006 she has translated and co-translated over thirty novels and works of non-fiction from the French, the Spanish and the Icelandic.