ISBN-10: 1942658443
ISBN-13: 9781942658443
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date: 05/08/2018
Dimensions: 7.40" L, 5.00" W, 0.60" H


Translator: Lisa Dillman
Translator: Daniel Hahn


Price: $15.99


International Latino Book Award Winner
Edward Lewis Wallant Award Winner
Kirkus Prize Finalist
Neustadt International Prize Finalist
Balcones Fiction Prize Finalist
PEN Translation Prize Longlist

“A feat of literary acrobatics.” —New York Review of Books

In Mourning, Eduardo Halfon’s eponymous narrator travels to Poland, Italy, the U.S., and the Guatemalan countryside in search of secrets he can barely name. He follows memory’s strands back to his maternal roots in Jewish Poland and to the contradictory, forbidden stories of his father’s Lebanese-Jewish immigrant family, specifically surrounding the long-ago childhood death by drowning of his uncle Salomón. But what, or who, really killed Salomón? As he goes deeper, he realizes that the truth lies buried in his own past, in the brutal Guatemala of the 1970s and his subsequent exile to the American South.

Mourning is a subtle and stirring reflection on the formative and destructive power of family mythology, silence, and loss.

Eduardo Halfon moved from Guatemala to the United States at the age of ten and attended school in South Florida and North Carolina. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Roger Caillois Prize, José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel, and Guatemalan National Prize in Literature, he is the author of two previous novels published in English: The Polish Boxer, a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and Monastery, longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award.

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Praise for Mourning

International Latino Book Award Winner
Edward Lewis Wallant Award Winner
Kirkus Prize Finalist
Neustadt International Prize Finalist
Balcones Fiction Prize Finalist
PEN Translation Prize Longlist
Smithsonian magazine "Favorite Book of the Year" selection
Kirkus Reviews "Best Book of the Year" selection
Americas Society/Council of the Americas "Favorite Book of the Year" selection
Literature in Translation "Favorite Book of the Year" selection
Library Journal "Top Work in Translation" selection
Words Without Borders "Watchlist" selection
Jewish Week "Spring Arts Preview" selection

"A feat of literary acrobatics." –New York Review of Books

"Halfon is a master." –Smithsonian magazine

"Elegant and meditative." –Words Without Borders

"Brimming with subtle mystery, inquisitiveness, oddity, coincidence, and melancholy. . . . A highly entertaining tragedy, a fascinating page-turner." –Asymptote Journal

"A careful, precise story that explores the many facets of loss and healing." –World Literature Today

"Powerful, gorgeous. . . . Halfon gives an unforgettable, haunting voice to lesser-known populations of the Jewish diaspora, including Latin American and Lebanese Jews. Mourning shows how the weaving together of diasporic families across cultures and places creates ripples through generations." –Jewish Book Council

"Evocative. . . . Mourning is a mystery, a drama and a fictional memoir. It is a book that manages to be both melancholy in tone yet triumphant in spirit." –Jewish Boston

"Halfon is the sort of traveler who admits he knows nothing, yet finds enlightenment everywhere. Mourning emits some little illumination of human nature on every page." –Rumpus

"With his slender but deceptively weighty books, which are at once breezy and melancholic, bemused and bitter, [Halfon] opens up worlds to readers in return." –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"An unforgettable exploration of one family's fluid, collective memory." –Booklist

"Halfon spins a bewitching tale. . . . Careful, arresting prose brings everything together in a moving, evocative story of the narrator's bloodline." –Publishers Weekly

"[Halfon] clarif[ies] in fluid, accessible language that however slippery, memory is essential to who we are." –Library Journal

"Halfon's writing hits a virtual ecstasy." –Jonas Mekas, director of As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty at Electric Literature

More Praise for Eduardo Halfon, Monastery, and The Polish Boxer

"Halfon's books center around journeys, travel for pleasure and work, travel for all the reasons that make immigrants leave home. . . . At the end of each journey, what Halfon finds is something other than what he set out to discover. . . . Guatemalan, Jewish, Lebanese, Polish, American–the narrator is a composite of identities; he comes from a range of places and doesn't quite belong anywhere. . . . What's most surprising is that these books, which take on such dark subjects, are so enjoyable to read." –New York Review of Books

"Part Jorge Luis Borges, part Sholom Aleichem. . . . What Eduardo Halfon accomplishes in his books–the work of excavating, remembering, mourning–is crucial if we hope to avoid the mistakes of the past. But his non-traditional methods and melodies, the peculiar observances that emerge in his writing, offer the promise of something completely original: a Guatemalan, Jewish blend that is just now beginning to breathe." –Rumpus

"Halfon passionately and lyrically illustrates the significance of the journey and the beauty of true mystery." –Booklist

"Halfon gives voice to a lesser-known sector of the Jewish diaspora, reminding us in the process of the ways in which identity is both fluid and immutable." –Publishers Weekly

"A rising star among Latin writers, Halfon is a lively traveling companion." –Kirkus Reviews

"Eduardo Halfon is a brilliant storyteller." –Daniel Alarcón, author of Lost City Radio and The King Is Always Above the People

"Halfon's prose is as delicate, precise, and ineffable as precocious art, a lighthouse that illuminates everything." –Francisco Goldman, author of Say Her Name and The Interior Circuit

"It is not often that one encounters such a mix of personal engagement and literary passion, or pain and tenderness." –Andrés Neuman, author of Traveler of the Century and How to Travel Without Seeing

On Monastery

"A moving, reflective, and humbly resounding work of fiction. . . . As an ambassador of both worldly wonder and sublime storytelling, Eduardo Halfon's Monastery, despite its brevity, is truly a marvel." –Best Translated Book Award Longlist citation

"[The protagonist] may be the perpetual wanderer, but his meditations are focused and absorbing." –Library Journal Indie Fiction in Translation of the Year citation

"Offer[s] surprise and revelation at every turn" –Reader's Digest

"One senses Kafka's ghost, along with Bolaño's, lingering in the shadows." –New York Review of Books

"Intelligent and authentic." –Jewish Book Council

"Monastery, which looks at Guatemala and the world from the divided perspective of a Jew and Guatemalan, [displays] a constantly surprising sensitivity, even tenderness toward both worlds and the ways they resonate even when they appear deaf to each other. . . . In the admirable translation by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn, the idiomatic, contemporary American English voice comes across as innate to this cosmopolitan narrator, without losing all its Spanishness." –The Common

On The Polish Boxer

"The hero of Halfon's novel delights in today's risible globalism, but recognizes that what we adopt from elsewhere makes us who we are." –New York Times (Editors' Choice)

"A Borgesian, post-Communist-era, comic detective noir." –New York Review of Books

"Engrossing." –NBC Latino

"Fantastic." –NPR Alt.Latino

"Elegant." –Marie Claire

"Deeply accessible, deeply moving." –Los Angeles Times

"Tight and lean . . . falling somewhere between the novels of Roberto Bolaño, WG Sebald, and Junot Díaz." –Telegraph

"[Halfon] has succeeded in warping a modern Balkan mystery into a Holocaust memoir . . . intrinsically blend[ing] fiction with reality in a deeply visceral way." –Rumpus

"The most memorable new novel I have read all year, the voice pitch-perfect, the imagery indelible. What a wonderful writer." –Norman Lebrecht, author of The Song of Names and Why Mahler?

More Reviews


ISBN-10: 1942658443
ISBN-13: 9781942658443
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date: 05/08/2018
Dimensions: 7.40" L, 5.00" W, 0.60" H
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