THE POET ASSASSINATING
by Roberto Bolano
translation by Chris Andrews
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In 1999 the Chilean-born Roberto Bolaño won, to the surprise of many, the coveted Premio Rómulo Gallegos (an award often considered to be the Nobel of the Americas) for his extraordinary novel Los detectives salvajes——a well-deserved recognition. For most of his writing life he had remained relatively unknown, although those who did read his work (six novels, two short story collections, and two volumes of poetry, up to that point) were passionate in their devotion. After years of deprivation and hardship, including a long period spent in political exile from General Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship, Bolaño found himself being celebrated as the best Latin American writer of his generation. Then, just five years later, he died in Spain at the age of fifty.
Bolano’s 2000 novel, By Night in Chile—— a
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