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"Begins to ****** with your head from its very first word."—Toby Litt
"Navidad & Matanza could be the hallucinogenic amalgamation of a César Aira plot with setting and characters conceived by Bolaño—if written using Oulipo-style constraints. . . . With ample imagination and commanding style,Navidad & Matanza certainly marks Labbé as a young author from whom we ought to anticipate great, fascinating things to come."—Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books
Loquela, Carlos Labbé's fourth novel and second to be translated into English, is a narrative chameleon, a shape-shifting exploration of fiction's possibilities.
At a basic level, this is a distorted detective novel mixed with a love story and a radical statement about narrative art. Beyond the silence that unites and separates Carlos and Elisa, beyond the game that estranges the albino girls, Alicia and Violeta, from pleasant summer evenings, beyond the destiny of Neutria—a city that disappears with childhood—and beyond a Chilean literary movement that could be the last vanguard, while at the same time the greatest falsification, questions arise concerning who truly writes for whom in a novel—the author or the reader.
Through an array of voices, overlapping storylines, a kaleidoscope of literary references, and a delirious, precise prose, Labbé carves out a space for himself among such great form-defying Latin American writers as Juan Carlos Onetti and Jorge Luis Borges.
Carlos Labbé, one of Granta's "Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists," was born in Chile and is the author of a collection of short stories and six novels, one of which,Navidad & Matanza, is available in English from Open Letter. In addition to his writings, he is a musician, and has released three albums.
Will Vanderhyden received an MA in literary translation from the University of Rochester.