The Polish Boxer

The Polish Boxer

Paperback

By (author) Eduardo Halfon, Translated by Thomas Bunstead, Translated by Lecturer in Spanish Lisa Dillman, Translated by Daniel Hahn, Translated by Anne McLean

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  • Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
  • Format: Paperback | 188 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 188mm x 15mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 18 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1934137537
  • ISBN 13: 9781934137536
  • Sales rank: 820,758

Product description

"Elegant" --"Marie Claire""Funny and revelatory." --"New York Times Book Review""Deeply accessible, deeply moving." --"Los Angeles Times""The Polish Boxer" covers a vast landscape of human experience while enfolding a search for origins: a grandson tries to make sense of his Polish 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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Author information

Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City, moved to the U.S. at the age of ten, went to school in South Florida, studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach literature for eight years at Universidad Francisco Marroquin. Named one of best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogota, he is also the recipient of the prestigious Jose Maria de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel and has published ten previous books of fiction in Spanish. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on continuing the story of "The Polish Boxer, " which is inspired by his own family history and is the first of his novels to be published in English. Halfon currently lives in Nebraska and travels frequently to Guatemala.In consultation with the author, "The Polish Boxer" was translated from the Spanish by an accomplished international team of five: Ollie Brock, Thomas Bunstead, Lisa Dillman, Daniel Hahn, and Anne McLean.

Review quote

International Latino Book Award Finalist"New York Times" "Editors' Choice" "Los Angeles Times" "Holiday Gift Recommendation"Two-time "San Francisco Chronicle" "Top Shelf" selection"Shelf Unbound" Top 10 Book of the Year"Jewish Week" "Fall Arts Preview" selection"Publishers Weekly" "First Fiction" selectionJewish Book Council "Weekly Book Recommendation"Book Expo America "Big Book" "Funny and revelatory." --"New York Times Book Review" "Elegant" --"Marie Claire" "Deeply accessible, deeply moving." --"Los Angeles Times" "Fantastic . . . Intense pain and beauty are offset by an unabashedly boyish sense of humor; in the same page, Halfon can skillfully switch from a discussion about intense immigrant alienation to a hilarious observation on the short male attention span for pornography." --NPR "Alt.Latino" "Engrossing . . . "The Polish Boxer" by Guatemalan novelist Eduardo Halfon, is a semi-autobiographical tale about roots and origins, identity and cultural loss, and the complex relation between the individual, his or her family story, and the heavy burden of History . . . Short but intense." --NBC Latino "Stimulating and inspiring." --"Independent" (UK) "Tight and lean . . . falling somewhere between the novels of Roberto Bolano, WG Sebald, and Junot Diaz." --"Telegraph" (UK) "["The Polish Boxer"] exists in the no-man's-land between fiction and memoir. In the end, we decide, this is fable: only the stories are important." --"Guardian" (UK) "A mix of finely nuanced prose and humor." --"World Literature Today" "Beautiful and provocative . . . a wonderful read which begs to be re-read." --"Jewish Book World" "This book provides multiple pleasures: clear, intense prose; sharp, laugh-out-loud depictions of classrooms and conferences . . . and the apparent seamlessness of the translations . . . . The book itself gives a resounding retort to those who might dismiss i