cancion_Haflon
2024 Longlist

Canción

Translated from the original Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

In Canción, Eduardo Halfon’s eponymous wanderer is invited to a Lebanese writers’ conference in Japan, where he reflects on his Jewish grandfather’s multifaceted identity. To understand more about the cold, fateful day in January 1967 when his grandfather was abducted by Guatemalan guerillas, Halfon searches his childhood memories. Soon, chance encounters around the world lead to more clues about his grandfather’s captors, including a butcher nicknamed “Canción” (or song). As a brutal and complex history emerges against the backdrop of the Guatemalan Civil War, Halfon finds echoes in the stories of a woman he meets in Japan whose grandfather survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Eduardo
Halfon

Eduardo Halfon, author of The Polish Boxer, Monastery, Mourning, and Canción, is the recipient of the Guatemalan National Prize in Literature, Roger Caillois Prize, José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel, International Latino Book Award, and Edward Lewis Wallant Award, among other honors. A citizen of Guatemala and Spain, Halfon was born in Guatemala City, attended school in Florida and North Carolina, and has lived in Nebraska, Spain, Paris, and Berlin.

Eduardo Halfon, author of The Polish Boxer, Monastery, Mourning, and Canción, is the recipient of the Guatemalan National Prize in Literature, Roger Caillois Prize, José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel, International Latino Book Award, and Edward Lewis Wallant Award, among other honors. A citizen of Guatemala and Spain, Halfon was born in Guatemala City, attended school in Florida and North Carolina, and has lived in Nebraska, Spain, Paris, and Berlin.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Lisa
Dillman

Lisa Dillman is a translator from the Spanish whose work has been named a finalist for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, and received the Best Translated Book Award and Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. She teaches at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

Lisa Dillman is a translator from the Spanish whose work has been named a finalist for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, and received the Best Translated Book Award and Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. She teaches at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Daniel
Hahn

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor, and translator from Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Among other honors, he is the recipient of the Ottaway Award and his work has been shortlisted for the International Booker Prize and received the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Lewes, England.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor, and translator from Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Among other honors, he is the recipient of the Ottaway Award and his work has been shortlisted for the International Booker Prize and received the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and Dublin Literary Award. He lives in Lewes, England.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Halfon´s novel Cancion is a biographical and historical short novel about the author´s Jewish-lebaneses immigrant family and their lives in Guatemala. The novel addresses relevant issues in current discussion about Jewish diaspora, migration and the armed conflict in Guatemala. All of these short biographical and historical vignettes are tied to a reflextion on the identity of a writer as descendant of a migrant. The novel allow us to know about the history of the conflict in Guatemala and how those who were once migrants, now naturalized, become exiles due to the conflict. and geographic ancestries. The main character of the novel parodies the author by introducing himself as a Lebanese writer at a meeting of writers when his Lebanese connection is filial but not territorial, linguistic or political. Another aspect is how the identities of exiles and migrants are constructed in the diaspora when they have a repertoire of religious, ethnic. The writing is captivating, the characters memorables, the historical scenes evocative and the overall reading experience enoyable. For all these reasons, we consider it an excelente candidate for the Dublin Literary Award. Halfon´s works and awards

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
03/11/2022
Country
Guatemala
Original Language
Spanish
Publisher
Bellevue Literary Press
Translator
Lisa Dillman, Daniel Hahn
Translation
Translated from the original Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn

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