2021 Longlist

It Would Be Night in Caracas


Translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer

2021 Longlist

In Caracas, Venezuela, Adelaida Falcón stands over an open grave. Alone, she buries her mother—the only family she has ever known—and worries that when night falls thieves will rob the grave. Even the dead cannot find peace here. Adelaida had a stable childhood in a prosperous Venezuela that accepted immigrants in search of a better life, where she lived with her single-mother in a humble apartment. But now? Every day she lines up for bread that will inevitably be sold out by the time she reaches the registers. Every night she tapes her windows to shut out the tear gas raining down on protesters. When looters masquerading as revolutionaries take over her apartment, Adelaida must make a series of gruesome choices in order to survive in a country disintegrating into anarchy, where citizens are increasingly pitted against each other. But just how far is she willing to go?A bold new voice from Latin America, Karina Sainz Borgo’s touching, thrilling debut is an ode to the Venezuelan people and a chilling reminder of how quickly the world we know can crumble.

About the Author

Karina Sainz Borgo was born and raised in Caracas. She began her career in Venezuela as a journalist for El Nacional. Since immigrating to Spain ten years ago, she has written for Vozpópuli and collaborates with the literary magazine Zenda. She is the author of two nonfiction books, Tráfico y Guaire (2008) and Caracas Hip-Hop (2008). It Would Be Night in Caracas is her first work of fiction.

Elizabeth Bryer is an author and translator. Her debut novel From Here On, Monsters was joint winner of the 2020 Norma K Hemming Award. She has translated novels from Spanish by Peruvian-, Chilean-, Colombian-, Venezuelan-, Mallorcan- and Polish-born authors. These include Aleksandra Lun’s The Palimpsests, awarded a PEN/Heim Translation fund grant from PEN America in 2017; Claudia Salazar Jiménez’s Americas Prize–winning Blood of the Dawn, described in the New York Times Book Review as a ‘brave, breviloquent debut novel’; and José Luis de Juan’s Napoleon’s Beekeeper. María José Ferrada’s How to Order the Universe is forthcoming from Tin House Books in early 2021. Elizabeth divides her time between Birraranga/Melbourne on unceded sovereign Wurundjeri land, where she pays the rent, and Arequipa, Peru.

Librarian’s Comments

A mesmerizing story in a poetical writing telling us about a horror situation, a sad but beautiful book. Intense and complex. Kept me reading. Biblioteca Demonstrativa do Brasil Maria da Conceição Moreira Salles, Brazil

Sainz Borgo


HarperVia/Harper Collins


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