Distant Star , published to acclaim last year), books of poems and two story collections before"/>
 

Last Evenings on Earth

Roberto Bolano, Author, Chris Andrews, Translator
Roberto Bolano, Author, Chris Andrews, Translator , trans. from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. New Directions $23.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-8112-1634-0
Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
Paperback - 219 pages - 978-0-8112-1688-3
Hardcover - 277 pages - 978-1-84343-181-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-09-946942-1
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-8112-2054-5
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Chilean Bolaño (1953–2003) wrote 10 novels (including Distant Star , published to acclaim last year), books of poems and two story collections before this one. These 14 bleakly luminous stories are all told in the first person by men (usually young) who yearn for something just out of their grasp (fame, talent, love) and who harbor few hopes of attaining what they desire. New Yorker readers may remember two selections: "Gómez Palacio," concerning the grimly uneventful encounter of a Mexico City writer with the woman who directs the backwater writing program where he comes to teach, and the title story, set in 1975, in which a young Mexico City man and his father vacation in Acapulco—a trip their relationship is not strong enough to survive. The stories are similar, in theme and voice (though not in locale), and they are perfectly calibrated: Bolaño limns the capacity of a voice to carry despair without shading into bitterness. (May)

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