Alberto Barrera Tyszka - Farewell to El Comandante - Quercus

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780857056122
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2019

Farewell to El Comandante

By Alberto Barrera Tyszka

  • Paperback
  • £14.99

A vivid portrait of life in Hugo Chávez's Venezuela, focusing on the secrets, lies and traumas of the inhabitants of a Caracas apartment block on the eve of his death

Venezuela 2012: The President's illness casts a shadow over the lives of his citizens - he divides opinion, but life without him is almost unimaginable.

Miguel Sanabria is a retired oncologist, ambivalent towards the President but caught between a virulently anti-Chávez wife and a equally vehement pro-Chávez brother. He is asked by his nephew to hide a mobile phone carrying secret footage that could shed new light on the President's condition.

His neighbour Fredy has found a fresh angle for a new book about Chávez, but to take advantage he must agree to a "green-card" marriage and leave his girlfriend and their son for two months, even as their landlady plots to repossess their home.

In another apartment live nine-year-old María and her neurotic, near-agoraphobic mother. Taken out of school to be educated at home, María turns to internet chat rooms for company, while her mother's fears about the city's endemic violence are proved tragically prescient.

The fates and fortunes of these neighbours will prove inextricably entwined as the hour of the President's death draws ever closer.

REVIEWS FOR THE SICKNESS

"A great book" Michael Morpurgo

"Powerful themes and powerful writing" Susan Hill

Translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

Biographical Notes

Alberto Barrera Tyszka, poet and novelist, is well known in Venezuela for his Sunday column in the newspaper El Nacional. He co-wrote the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed Hugo Chávez (2007), the first biography of the Venezuelan president. His novel The Sickness won the prestigious Herralde Prize and was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Homeland or Death was the winner of the Tusquets Prize.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857056115
  • Publication date: 07 Feb 2019
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
Tyszka is a perceptive, original writer. — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times.
The Venezuelan Ian McEwan. — Booktrust.
The best novel about charisma I've read in a long time. Everything it tells us rings true. — Babelia
His devilish ability to bring together distinct storylines that converge in the apotheosis of a brilliant finale is proof of Barrera's awareness of the finer points of deft and intelligent writing. — El Periódico.
Barrera's prose is clear, rousing, borne of authenticity when it comes to expressing the contradictions of human beings. — La Vanguardia.
Why is Alberto Barrera Tyzska's novel so good? Because, from the first phrase to the last, he keeps us interested, curious, and concerned for what will happen. Because this flair of his reveals a great deal of cultivation, study, and insight into the art of creating suspense. Because his ability to create a redoubtable literary space, which we inevitably associate with the International Sanatorium Berghof in The Magic Mountain, Leopold Bloom's Dublin, or mad Ahab's Pequod, is breathtaking. — El Nacional.
MacLehose Press

Madeleine

Euan Cameron
Authors:
Euan Cameron

Family history has always been a mystery to Jo Latymer. His father flatly refused to talk about it, and with no other relatives to consult, it seems that a mystery it shall always remain. Until of course, Jo meets Ghislaine, his beautiful French cousin, in a chance encounter that sends him headlong into the life of his longlost grandfather, Henry Latymer. Reading Henry's old letters and diaries for the first time, Jo discovers an idealistic young man, full of hopes and optimism - an optimism that will gradually be crushed as the realities of life under the Vichy regime become glaringly clear.But the more Jo delves into Henry's past, and into France's troubled history, the darker the secrets he discovers about his grandfather become, and the more he has cause to wonder if sometimes, the past should remain buried.

Quercus

The Book of Wonders

Julien Sandrel
Authors:
Julien Sandrel

The Book of Wonders is a moving, heart-warming tearjerker of a novel about finding the strength to carry on in the face of devastation, and how the most unlikely, painful moments can often be the ones which teach us that life is worth living.Live every day like it's your last.Thelma is the busy single mum of 12-year-old Louis. When he is hit by a lorry one morning, their lives are changed for ever. Louis falls into a coma and if he doesn't regain consciousness in the next four weeks, he may never wake up again.At home in Louis' bedroom, a devastated Thelma finds a list of all the things he wants to accomplish in his life, and suddenly sees a way to survive: she will fulfil her son's dreams, in the hope that it will bring him back. With the help of his nurse, Thelma sets up an iPad in Louis' hospital room so he can follow her adventures. His first wish: to spend a day in Tokyo. Thelma has just one desperate hope, that her son will come back to her.

riverrun

Prefecture D

Hideo Yokoyama
Authors:
Hideo Yokoyama

Jo Fletcher Books

Hearts of Ice

David Hair
Authors:
David Hair
riverrun

Against Nature (riverrun editions)

Joris-Karl Huysmans
Authors:
Joris-Karl Huysmans

The cult novel of fin de siècle decadence that inspired Oscar Wilde'It will be biggest fiasco of the year - but I don't give a damn! It will be something nobody has ever done before.' Joris-Karl Huysmans on Against Nature The title page of the first complete English translation of Against Nature (published in the French as À Rebours) included the caption 'the book that Dorian Gray loved and inspired Oscar Wilde.' It was, declared Wilde, one of the best novels he had ever read. It is the story of Jean des Esseintes, the last of a proud and noble family, who retreats from the world in disgust at bourgeois society and leads a life based on cultivation of the senses through art. Des Esseintes distills perfumes from the rarest oils and essences, he creates a garden of poisonous flowers, sets gemstones in the shell of a tortoise's gold-painted shell and plans to corrupt a street urchin until he is degraded enough to commit murder. Des Esseintes aesthetic pilgrimage is described in minutely documented realistic detail and was widely regarded as the guidebook of decadence. This influential novel is now available in a startling new translation by Theo Cuffe and includes a new preface by Luc Sante.

Quercus

The Night Tiger

Yangsze Choo
Authors:
Yangsze Choo
Jo Fletcher Books

Our Child of the Stars

Stephen Cox
Authors:
Stephen Cox

A lost child, the family who try to protect him and the secret that refuses to stay hidden . . .Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation. Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town - and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.And soon the whole world will be looking for him.Cory's arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.A remarkable story of warmth, tenacity and generosity of spirit, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, terrifying decade.

riverrun

A River in the Trees

Jacqueline O'Mahony
Authors:
Jacqueline O'Mahony

Two women.Two stories.One hundred years of secrets. A sweeping novel of love, loss, family and history for readers who love Maggie O'Farrell, John Boyne and Donal Ryan 1919Hannah is nineteen years old and living on her family's farm in West Cork. Her peaceful world is shattered forever by the eruption of the War of Independence, Ireland's bid for freedom from Britain. Hannah's family hide rebel soldiers in their attic, putting them in great danger from the Black and Tans who roam the countryside. An immediate connection between Hannah and O'Riada, the leader of this band of rebels, will change her life and that of her family forever.2019Ellen is at a crossroads in her life: her marriage is in trouble, her career is over and she's grieving the loss of a baby. After years in London, she decides to come home to Ireland to face the past she has always tried to escape. Her journey centres on an old house in the countryside, a house that used to belong to her family. Reaching into the past, she feels a connection to her aunt, the mysterious Hannah O'Donovan. But why won't anyone in her family talk about Hannah? And how can this journey help Ellen put her life back together?

MacLehose Press

A Long Night in Paris

Dov Alfon
Authors:
Dov Alfon

When one Israeli citizen disappears from Charles de Gaulle Airport with a woman in a red dress, you could put it down to youthful indiscretion. When a second from the same flight is disappeared from his hotel room by a girl with a gun, you might just have a diplomatic crisis on your hands. Enter Colonel Abadi, recently appointed head of the Special Section of Unit 8200, Israel's most secretive intelligence service. His only allies are his deputy back in Israel, the dazzling and hot-headed Lieutenant Oriana Talmor, and a French detective hung out to dry by his superiors. Together they face a squad of ruthless Chinese commandos who have no qualms about leaving Paris littered with bodies. And then there are their enemies in the Paris establishment and the labyrinthine, back-stabbing Israeli intelligence community. All in all, it could be a long night.

Quercus

Winter Without You

Beth Good
Authors:
Beth Good
MacLehose Press

EEG

Daša Drndic
Authors:
Daša Drndic

An urgent new novel about death, war and memory, and a bristling follow-on from Belladonna - shortlisted for both the EBRD Prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.In this extraordinary final work, Dasa Drndic's combative, probing voice reaches new heights. In her relentless search for truth she delves into the darkest corners of our lives. And as she chastises, she also atones. Andreas Ban failed in his suicide attempt. Even as his body falters and his lungs constrict, he taps on the glass of history - an impenetrable case filled with silent figures - and tries to summon those imprisoned within. Mercilessly, fearlessly, he continues to dissect society and his environment, shunning all favours as he goes after the evils and hidden secrets of others. History remembers the names of perpetrators, not of the victims. Ban travels from Rijeka to Rovinj in nearby Istria, from Belgrade to Toronto to Tirana, from Parisian avenues to Italian palazzi. Ghosts follow him wherever he goes: chess grandmasters who disappeared during WWII; the lost inhabitants of Latvia; war criminals who found work in the C.I.A. and died peacefully in their beds. Ban's family is with him too: those he has lost and those with one foot in the grave. As if left with only a few pieces in a chess game, Andreas Ban plays a stunning last match against Death.Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth

MacLehose Press

Tropic of Violence

Nathacha Appanah
Authors:
Nathacha Appanah

Marie, a nurse on the island of Mayotte, adopts an abandoned baby and names him Moïse, raising him as a French boy. As he grows up, Moïse struggles with his status as an "outsider" and to understand why he was abandoned as a baby. When Marie dies, he is left alone, plunged into uncertainty and turmoil, ending up in the largest and most infamous slum on Mayotte, nicknamed "Gaza".Narrated by five different characters, Tropic of Violence is an exploration of lost youth on the French island of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. Shining a powerful light on problems of violence, immigration, identity, deprivation and isolation on this island that became a French département in 2011, it is a remarkable, unsettling new novel that draws on the author's own observations from her time on Mayotte.

MacLehose Press

The Girl in the Spider's Web

David Lagercrantz
Authors:
David Lagercrantz
Quercus

The Rival

Charlotte Duckworth
Authors:
Charlotte Duckworth

'A chilling and compelling debut'Lucy Dawson, author of The Daughter'Brilliant and insidious'Lucy Clarke, author of Last Seen***********NOWLiving in her home in the remote countryside - the perfect place to get away from it all - Helena is a career woman with no job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley's fault?THENWhen Helena hires Ashley to work for her, she's startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud - maybe this is the protégée she's always wanted to have? But soon Helena realizes that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley's drive to get to the top. And when Helena becomes pregnant, everything she has worked so hard for is suddenly threatened, with devastating consequences... The Rival is an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, and how far you'd go to get what you want.***********'Absolutely terrific, a beautifully written debut from an exciting new voice in psychological fiction' Cass Green, author of The Woman Next Door'A compelling addictive read... I absolutely loved it' Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend

MacLehose Press

Zen and the Art of Murder

Oliver Bottini
Authors:
Oliver Bottini
Quercus

Darling Blue

Tracy Rees
Authors:
Tracy Rees
Quercus

An Ocean of Minutes

Thea Lim
Authors:
Thea Lim

A heartbreaking and timely novel about courage, yearning, the cost of holding onto the past - and the price of letting it go. 'The clear-eyed, evocative writing here is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, and anyone familiar with The Handmaid's Tale will find resonance in these pages... a devastating debut'Toronto Star'An Ocean Of Minutes absolutely swept me away' Red MagazinePolly and Frank are young and in love, a lifetime together before them. But one evening in 1980, as the Texas sun sets over their shoulders, the world is suddenly pulled apart by a deadly virus. Within months, Frank is dying. Polly can save him, but only if she agrees to a radical plan: to time travel to 1993 for a corporation who can fund his life-saving treatment. She can only go forward, she cannot go back. And she must leave everything she loves behind, including Frank.All they have is the promise of a future together: they will find each other again in twelve years' time, in Galveston, Texas, where the sea begins.But when something goes wrong and Polly arrives late, Frank is nowhere to be found. Completely alone, Polly must navigate a terrifying new world to find him, and to discover if their love has endured.'A profound meditation on the inhumanity of class and the limits of love... This is a story about the malleability of time, but at its core lives something timeless'Omar El Akkad, author of American War'Strikingly imaginative... unlike anything I've ever read, rich with pinpoint emotional insight and fierce, vivid observations about a future that's already our past' Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays'A buoyant, compelling tale ranging from the everyday beauty of falling in love to a frightening vision of a dystopian present day... boundless and dynamic'Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters 'An Ocean of Minutes offers that rare combination of a provocative speculative setting, masterfully elegant writing, and a story that moves and haunts long after the last page'David Chariandy, author of Brother

MacLehose Press

Lost Empress

Sergio De La Pava
Authors:
Sergio De La Pava
MacLehose Press

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye: Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series

David Lagercrantz
Authors:
David Lagercrantz

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO LIVES ON. Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force:Sentenced to two months in Flodberga women's prison for saving a young boy's life by any means necessary, Salander refuses to say anything in her own defence. She has more important things on her mind.Mikael Blomkvist makes the long trip to visit every week - and receives a lead to follow for his pains. For him, it looks to be an important expose for Millennium. For her, it could unlock the facts of her childhood.Even from a corrupt prison system run largely by the inmates, Salander will stand up for what she believes in, whatever the cost. And she will seek the truth that is somehow connected with her childhood memory, of a woman with a blazing birthmark on her neck - that looked as if it had been burned by a dragon's fire . . . The tension, power and unstoppable force of The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye are inspired by Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, as Salander and Blomkvist continue the fight for justice that has thrilled millions of readers across the world.Translated from the Swedish by George Goulding

MacLehose Press

The Impostor

Javier Cercas
Authors:
Javier Cercas

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL 2018A TRUE STORY THAT IS PACKED WITH FICTION - FICTION CREATED BY ITS MAIN CHARACTER, ENRIC MARCOBut who is Enric Marco? A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a fighter against fascism, an impassioned campaigner for justice, and a survivor of the Nazi death camps? Or, is he simply an old man with delusions of grandeur, a charlatan who fabricated his heroic war record, who was never a prisoner in the Third Reich and never opposed Franco; a charming, beguiling and compulsive liar who refashioned himself as a defender of liberty and who was unmasked in 2005 at the height of his influence and renown?In this extraordinary novel - part narrative, part history, part essay, part biography, part autobiography - Javier Cercas unravels the enigma of the man and delves with passion and honesty into the most ambiguous aspects of what makes us human - our infinite capacity for self-deception, our need for conformity, our thirst for affection and our conflicting needs for fiction and for truth.Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne