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Category Archive for 'Honduras'

In a novel which defies genre, author Horacio Castellanos Moya takes paranoia to new and often darkly humorous heights as an unnamed speaker, a journalist who has been living in exile in Mexico, tries to fulfill his dream of returning to his home in El Salvador, now that that country is beginning to seem less dangerous after its many coups. The author’s real-life experience gives verisimilitude to the speaker’s story, and his sense of perspective regarding his own life allows him to depict the excesses of the speaker’s chronic over-analyzing and unproductive dithering with kind of humor rare for a novel about revolutions and revolutionaries. Castellanos Moya himself lived through many events similar to those affecting the speaker. His first novel, known in English as Senselessness, became a controversial success for its unvarnished depiction of the genocide of Mayan Indians, and when the author’s mother received an anonymous death threat aimed at him, the author went into self-imposed exile in Mexico for ten years. Of the four novels by Castellanos Moya which have been translated into English, this is the lightest, and though it has some serious ideas, it is also the funniest and most seductively involving. Translator Katherine Silver, who keeps the stream-of-consciousness style running nonstop in colloquial English, also makes the details so lively that the story is both compelling and full of fun.

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