The Abyss: A Novel (Paperback)

The Abyss: A Novel By Fernando Vallejo, Yvette Siegert (Translated by) Cover Image
By Fernando Vallejo, Yvette Siegert (Translated by)
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Finally, the Colombian Fernando Vallejo’s masterpiece, The Abyss, is available in English in a stunning translation by Yvette Siegert

Winner of the Rómulo Gallego Prize, The Abyss is a caustic masterwork of incredible power and force, an unforgettable autobiographical work of queer fiction. The novel tells about the demise of a crumbling house in Medellín, Colombia. Fernando, a writer, visits his brother Darío, who is dying of AIDS. Recounting their wild philandering and trying to come to terms with his beloved brother’s inevitable death, Fernando rants against the political forces that cause so much suffering. Vallejo is the heir to Céline, Thomas Paine, and Machado de Assis. He hurls vitriolic, savagely funny insults at his country (“I wipe my ass with the new Constitution of Colombia”) and at his mother (“the Crazy Bitch”) who has given birth to him and his many siblings. Within this firestorm of pain, Fernando manages to get across much beauty and truth: that all love is painful and washed in pure sorrow. He loves his sick brother and the family’s Santa Anita farm (the lost paradise of his childhood where azaleas bloomed); and he even loves his country, now torn to shreds. Always, in this savage masterpiece about loss—as if in the eye of Vallejo’s hurricane of talent—we are in the curiously comforting workings of memory and of the writing process itself, as, recollecting time, it offers immortality.

About the Author

Fernando Vallejo, the acclaimed Colombian writer, filmmaker and public intellectual, was born in 1942 in Medellín, Colombia and obtained Mexican nationality in 2007. Author of Our Lady of the Assassins (made into a famous film by Barbet Schroeder), he is renowned in the Spanish-speaking world for his brilliant works and controversial opinions.

The poet Yvette Siegert has also translated The Reef by Juan Villoro and Alejandra Pizarnik’s poetry collections A Musical Hell, Diana’s Tree, and Extracting the Stone of Madness, for which she won the 2017 Best Translated Book Award.

Praise For…

Proof that people in Colombia don’t read is that Vallejo hasn’t been shot yet.
— Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Rooted in heartbreaking experience, crackling with humor, insolence, and diatribes.
— Mario Vargas Llosa

Vallejo inserts the violence battering his country into the very language of his text where words are no mere reflection, they are the violence that startles and overwhelms the reader.
— Juan Goytisolo
Product Details
ISBN: 9780811238519
ISBN-10: 0811238512
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English