The Informers: Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

The Informers: Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean

Hardback

By (author) Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Translated by Anne McLean

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm
  • Publication date: 5 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0747592578
  • ISBN 13: 9780747592570
  • Sales rank: 1,028,043

Product description

When Gabriel Santoro publishes his first book, A Life in Exile, it never occurs to him that his father, a distinguished professor of rhetoric, will write a devastating review in a leading newspaper. The subject seems inoffensive enough: the life of a German Jewish woman (a close family friend) who arrived in Colombia shortly before the Second World War. So why does his father attack him so viciously? Do the pages of his book unwittingly hide some dangerous secret? As Gabriel sets out to discover what lies behind his father's anger, he finds himself undertaking an examination of the duplicity, guilt and obsession at the heart of Colombian society in World War II, when the introduction of blacklists of German immigrants corrupted and destroyed many lives. Half a century later, in a gripping narrative that unpacks like a set of Russian dolls, one treacherous act perpetrated in those dark days returns with a vengeance, leading the reader towards a literal, moral and metaphorical cliff edge. With a tightly honed plot, deftly crafted situations, and a cast of complex and varied characters, The Informers is a fascinating novel of callous betrayal, complicit secrecy and the long quest for redemption in a secular, cynical world. It heralds the arrival of a major literary talent.

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Author information

Juan Gabriel Vasquez was born in Bogota in 1973. He studied Latin American literature at the Sorbonne between 1996 and 1998, and now lives in Barcelona. His stories have appeared in anthologies in Germany, France, Spain, and Colombia, and he has translated works by E.M. Forster and Victor Hugo, amongst others, into Spanish. He was recently nominated as one of the Bogota 39, South America's most promising writers of the new generation. The Informers is his first novel to be translated into English. Anne McLean has translated Latin American and Spanish novels, short stories, memoirs and other writings by writers including Carmen Martin Gaite, Julio Cortazar, Tomas Eloy Martinez and Ignacio Marttinez de Pison. Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas was a huge international success, selling over 1 million copies worldwide, being translated into more than twenty languages and winning for Cercas and McLean the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction in the UK in 2004.

Review quote

'The historical reading that springs from a personal conflict, the background of a witchhunt on the outskirts of the Second World War, political fanatism and a secret prowling around in the protagonist's biography, are aspects that maintain the afinity of this novel with 'I Married a Communist', by Philip Roth...' Javier Aparicio, El Pais, Madrid 'A truly magnificent book, luminous, poignant, lucid and intelligent. It has obvious parallels with Schlink's 'The Reader' ... Vasquez creates a fiction which is complex and allusive, a delicate creation of artifice and ineffable truth.' Frank Wynne, translator of Michel Houellbecq 'Vasquez has created a perfect structure for his novel, the narrative in constant motion, as if interior turmoil were affecting the settings and scenes as they proceed. Each and every one of his characters is memorable' J.A. Masoliver Rodenas, La Vanguardia, Barcelona