A Luminous Republic has all the stark power of a folk-tale or a fable. It also raises concerns that are pressing and contemporary-about the function and source of language, about public paranoia and hysteria, about the idea of community and how information spreads. At the book's center is a moving personal story about memory and loss. The narrative is engaging, at times playful, wholly compelling
At first you will feel fear, but what you feel next is something much deeper, disturbing and luminous
Disquieting without tricks and beautiful without artifice, A Luminous Republic is an engrossing tale of unusual moral precision... A triumph
Juan Gabriel Vasquez
From the Same Author
Such Small Hands
, translated by Lisa Dillman
Her father died instantly, her mother in the hospital.
She has learned to say this flatly and without emotion, the way she says her name (Marina), her doll’s name (also Marina) and her age (seven). Her parents were killed in a car crash and now she lives in the orphanage with the other little girls. But Marina is not like the other little girls.
In the curious, hyperreal, feverishly serious world of childhood, Marina and the girls play games of desire and warfare. The daily rituals of playtime, lunchtime and bedtime are charged with a horror; horror is licked by the dark flames of love. When Marina introduces the girls to Marina the Doll, she sets in motion a chain of events from which there can be no release.
With shades of Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro and Mariana Enríquez, Such Small Hands is a beautifully controlled tour-de-force, a bedtime story to keep readers awake.
Andrés Barba on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
Introducing Javier Arancibia Contreras
‘In this story, the troubled translator’s only interlocutor is, of course, a rat with human vices and traits.’