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Ramifications

Translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

A thirty-two-year old man can’t get out of bed or leave his apartment. All he can do is recall his life so far, dissect it, write it, gathering all the memories around what would mark his existence forever: his mother’s departure in the summer of 1994, when he was only ten, so that she could join the Zapatista uprising that was shaking up the whole country. Her mysterious escape from one day to the next only worsens with his clumsy father’s secrecy, silence and awkwardness, a man unable to carry the responsibilities for his son and teenage daughter. This worsens with the boy’s erratic investigations to uncover the reasons for his mother’s decision to leave. All he can do is create an anguish-filled parallel world: he will unsuccessfully seek refuge in his origami obsession, or in his sensory deprivation tank in which he locks himself up to see if he can erase his existence. Finally, with the help of Rata, a young delinquent dating his sister, he will undertake a voyage of discovery to the darkest corners of his Mexico City, where he will meet the face of gratuitous cruelty, as well as the selfless kindness of strangers.

In his second novel, Daniel Saldaña París has created a bone chilling, exact portrait of a hypersensitive childhood that must torture and repeat itself in the mind of the protagonist.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Daniel
Saldaña París

 Daniel Saldaña París is a Mexican poet, essayist and novelist.  His debut novel Among Strange Victims, 2013) was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award. Ramifications, 2018) has brought him even more praise and admiration in Mexico and abroad. He has two poetry collections and his work has been included in several anthologies.

 Daniel Saldaña París is a Mexican poet, essayist and novelist.  His debut novel Among Strange Victims, 2013) was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award. Ramifications, 2018) has brought him even more praise and admiration in Mexico and abroad. He has two poetry collections and his work has been included in several anthologies.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Christina
MacSweeney

Christina MacSweeney received the 2016 Valle Inclán prize for her translation of Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth, and her translation of Daniel Saldaña París’ Among Strange Victims was a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award. She has translated works by Elvira Navarro, Verónica Gerber Bicecci, and Julián Herbert.

Christina MacSweeney received the 2016 Valle Inclán prize for her translation of Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth, and her translation of Daniel Saldaña París’ Among Strange Victims was a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award. She has translated works by Elvira Navarro, Verónica Gerber Bicecci, and Julián Herbert.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

“The main plot occurs in 1994, a year marked by significant events in the history of Mexico. In such context, the story of a boy’s loss is the basis for a symbolic treatment of the themes of the novel: the asymmetry of concrete reality in contrast with the ideal symmetry in one’s own fiction; and the dichotomies defined or at least made evident by central traumatic events in one’s life, or in a country’s history.
The novel is notable, first, for reminding us how our mystic, idealistic, combative side can be subdued (or symbolically murdered) by our more pragmatic, selfish, cynical side. Second, for exploring the disenchantment experienced when contemplating in perspective the contrast between what is and what one wishes that was. Finally, the novel comments, emotionally yet without common-place nostalgia, on how personal and collective memory develop, and reflects on the nature of memories, as constructions that are reinvented and wear out every time we revisit them.” Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, Mexico

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
13/10/2020
Country
Mexico
Original Language
Spanish
Publisher
Charco Press
Translator
Christina MacSweeney
Translation
Translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney

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