Monastery
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Monastery

3.75 (146 ratings by Goodreads)
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Best Translated Book Award LonglistReader's Digest Great New BookWorld Literature Today Holiday Gift Guide Recommendation -Offer[s] surprise and revelation at every turn.- --Reader's Digest -Eduardo Halfon is a brilliant storyteller.- --DANIEL ALARCON, author of At Night We Walk in Circles In Monastery, the nomadic narrator of Eduardo Halfon's critically-acclaimed The Polish Boxer returns to travel from Guatemalan cities, villages, coffee plantations, and border towns to a private jazz concert in New York's Harlem, a former German U-Boat base on the French Breton coast, and Israel, where he escapes from his sister's Orthodox Jewish wedding into an erotic adventure with the enigmatic Tamara. His passing encounters are unforgettable; his relationships, problematic. At once a world citizen and a writer who mistrusts the power of language, he is pursued by history's ghosts and unanswerable questions. He is a cartographer of identity on a compelling journey to an uncertain destination. As he draws and redraws his boundaries, he confronts us with the limitations of our own. Eduardo Halfon was named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogota and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the prestigious Jose Maria de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. The Polish Boxer, his first book to appear in English, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and finalist for the International Latino Book Award. Halfon is currently the Harman Writer in Residence at Baruch College in New York and travels frequently between his homes in Nebraska and Guatemala.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 158 pages
  • 124.46 x 185.42 x 12.7mm | 45.36g
  • Bellevue Literary Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Translation
  • 1934137820
  • 9781934137826
  • 681,833

Review quote

Best Translated Book Award LonglistReader's Digest Great New BookWorld Literature Today Holiday Gift Guide RecommendationJewish Journal Noteworthy Book for the New YearShelf Awareness World Literature: Booksellers Recommend selectionLibrary Journal Indie Fiction in Translation: Don't-Miss Titles from Around the WorldJewish Book Council Weekly Recommended Read -A moving, reflective, and humbly resounding work of fiction. . . . Monastery, with its beautiful prose, vibrant imagery, and singular outlook on the abundance of individual and shared experience, deserves to win this year's Best Translated Book Award. As an ambassador of both worldly wonder and sublime storytelling, Eduardo Halfon's Monastery, despite its brevity, is truly a marvel.- --Best Translated Book Award Longlist citation -[The protagonist] may be the perpetual wanderer, but his meditations are focused and absorbing.- --Library Journal Indie Fiction in Translation of the Year citation -Zip[s] us around the world from Tel Aviv to rural Guatemala to New York, offering surprise and revelation at every turn.- --Reader's Digest -Intelligent and authentic.- --Jewish Book Council -Monastery, which looks at Guatemala and the world from the divided perspective of a Jew and Guatemalan [displays] a constantly surprising sensitivity, even tenderness toward both worlds and the ways they resonate even when they appear deaf to each other. . . . In the admirable translation by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn, the idiomatic, contemporary American English voice comes across as innate to this cosmopolitan narrator, without losing all its Spanishness.- --The Common -Call it a confirmation bias. Everywhere I turned this year, I saw a new expression of Arab Jewish identity. The revival seems to be happening across all fields--literature, food, music--yet somehow nobody's talking about it. . . . Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered Eduardo Halfon's new novel, Monastery, in which the conflicted, tragicomic protagonist denies his Arab identity when talking to certain Jews, and his Jewish identity when talking to certain Arabs.- -- Forward -Halfon gives voice to a lesser-known sector of the Jewish diaspora, reminding us in the process of the ways in which identity is both fluid and immutable.- --Publishers Weekly -[A] sly, quietly penetrating account of life on the road. . . . One of [Halfon's] special attributes is never forcing meaning on his experiences. . . . But he's also great at reversing our initial impressions of people and places. . . . A rising star among Latin writers, Halfon is a lively traveling companion.- --Kirkus Reviews -In this enigmatic follow-up to Halfon's lovely The Polish Boxer, readers follow the same narrator as he journeys around Central America, Europe, and Israel. . . . As if slowly filling in negative space, Halfon gradually gives shape to the uneasy relationship he has with his own allegiances and heritage as well as the outsider position he occupies wherever he goes, even within his own country. A subtle work that defies easy categorization in the best way.- --Booklist -If I were still a bookseller, I'd happily place [Monastery] in your hands and say, 'You've got to read th[is]!'- --Shelf Awareness for Readersshow more

About Eduardo Halfon

Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City, moved to the United States 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 the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogota, he is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the prestigious Jose Maria de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. He has published eleven previous books of fiction in Spanish. The Polish Boxer, his first book to appear in English, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and finalist for the International Latino Book Award. Halfon is currently the Harman Writer in Residence at Baruch College in New York and travels frequently between his homes in Nebraska and Guatemala.show more

Rating details

146 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 22% (32)
4 40% (59)
3 31% (45)
2 5% (7)
1 2% (3)
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