The Absent Sea
- Author: Franz, Carlos
- Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
- Pages: 375
- Size: 6x9"
- Pub. Year: 2011
- ISBN: 0-929701-94-1 / 9780929701943
- In Stock: Yes
Translated from the Spanish by Leland H. Chambers.
WINNER OF THE PREMIO INTERNACIONAL DE NOVELA DEL DIARIO LA NACION-SUDAMERICANA.
LITERARY FICTION FINALIST FOR FOREWORD REVIEW'S BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Absent Sea is the English-language debut of one of the most important Chilean novelists living, a major novel that hovers between real history and timeless mythology. Carlos Fuentes has declared this book to be one of the top ten Latin American novels of the past ten years.
Just before the coup d'etat that overturned Chile's govenrment under Allende, a young, idealistic judge is posted to a provincial center in the vast northern desert. After the coup, the town is occupied by the military, which establishes a concentration camp for dissidents. Immediately, the conflicted relationship between the judge, Laura, and the commandant, Major Cáceres, leads to a life-changing decision which results in her lengthy exile to Germany. Twenty years later, she returns to Chile to face up to her past, and to answer the scathing question flung at her by her daughter: "Where were you, Mamá, when all those horrible things were happening in your city?"
Laura's reply to her daughter takes the form of a long letter about the dramatic events of twenty years before. Meanwhile, in alternating chapters, Laura's return coincides with a religious festival. By the end of three days, the city and all its Chilean inhabitants will be forever altered.
Read the Words Without Borders review by Mythili G. Rao: The Absent Sea
Read an interview by Gregory McNamee at Kirkus Reviews:Sea Changes: Chilean Novelist Carlos Franz
Read an interview by Jonathan Blitzer at Words Without Borders:A Region of the Spirit
Read the opening chapters: Pages 1-24(PDF)
"In The Absent Sea, Carlos Franz tells a fascinating story which is at once an investigation into the depths of human cruelty and compassion on an occasion of historical violence. Written and constructed by a masterful hand, it is one of the most original novels that modern Latin American literature has produced."--Mario Vargas Llosa
Selected as the lead title for June by Hey Small Press!: www.heysmallpress.org/
Carlos Franz (b. Geneva, Switzerland, 1959) is the son of a Chilean diplomat and a Swiss actress. He lived in Switzerland until he was 12 years old, when he moved to Chile. He has a degree in Law from the Universidad de Chile, though he has never practiced. Instead, he became a student of José Donoso in writing workshops in Santiago. For seven years he directed the International Book Fair in Santiago; he has also taught literature at the Universidad Diego Portales. In 2000 he received a DAAD grant and spent a year in Berlin as an artist in residence; afterward he passed several years in England, first as a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University and then as an Honorary Research Fellow at King's College, the University of London, before moving to Madrid, where he still resides. He is married, with one daughter.