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The writer who showed the West there was more to South America than magic realism

A review of Bolano: A biography in Conversations. More of a whimsical detective novel than a real biography

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

Bolaño: A Biography in Conversations Mónica Maristain (translated by Kit Maude)

Melville House, pp.274, £20, ISBN: 9781612193472

Early on in this ‘Biography in Conversations’ we’re told that the Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño ‘continued to see himself throughout his life as a literary character, a fictional person.’ It’s a dubious claim: we might believe that about any number of Hollywood actors, pop stars, or historical monsters, but not of the author of books that, as one editor interviewed here, Ignacio Echevarría, notes, ‘would lead to the recanonisation of Latin American literature.

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