Synopses & Reviews
An engrossing, incantatory novel about the legacy of historical crimes by the author of Space Invaders.
It is 1984 in Chile, in the middle of the Pinochet dictatorship. A member of the secret police walks into the office of a dissident magazine and finds a reporter, who records his testimony. The narrator of Nona Fernández’s mesmerizing and terrifying novel, The Twilight Zone, is a child when she first sees this man’s face on the magazine’s cover with the words “I Tortured People.” His complicity in the worst crimes of the regime and his commitment to speaking about them haunt the narrator into her adulthood and career as a writer and documentarian. Like a secret service agent from the future, through extraordinary feats of the imagination, Fernández follows the “man who tortured people” to places that archives can’t reach, into the sinister twilight zone of history where morning routines, a game of chess, Yuri Gagarin, and the eponymous TV show of the novel’s title coexist with the brutal yet commonplace machinations of the regime.
How do crimes vanish in plain sight? How does one resist a repressive regime? And who gets to shape the truths we live by and take for granted? The Twilight Zone pulls us into the dark portals of the past, reminding us that the work of the writer in the face of historical erasure is to imagine so deeply that these absences can be, for a time, spectacularly illuminated.
"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
"In The Twilight Zone, Fernández 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." Idra Novey, author of Those Who Knew
About the Author
Nona Fernández was born in Santiago, Chile. She is an actress and writer, and has published two plays, a collection of short stories, and six novels, including Space Invaders and The Twilight Zone, which was awarded the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize.
Natasha Wimmer is the translator of Space Invaders by Nona Fernández, as well as nine books by Roberto Bolaño, including The Savage Detectives and 2666. Her most recent translation is The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra.