AFFECTIONS: A NOVEL by Rodrigo Hasbún out TODAY!
Rodrigo Hasbún's novel AFFECTIONS is out today from Pushkin Press, get your copy here today.
A haunting novel about an unusual family’s breakdown—set in South America during the time of Che Guevara and inspired by the life of Third Reich cinematographer Hans Ertl—from the literary star Jonathan Safran Foer calls, “a great writer.”
Inspired by real events, Affections is the story of the eccentric, fascinating Ertl clan, headed by the egocentric and extraordinary Hans, once the cameraman for the Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl. Shortly after the end of World War II, Hans and his family flee to Bolivia to start over. There, the ever-restless Hans decides to embark on an expedition in search of the fabled lost Inca city of Paitití, enlisting two of his daughters to join him on his outlandish quest into the depths of the Amazon, with disastrous consequences.
Set against the backdrop of the both optimistic and violent 1950s and 1960s, Affectionstraces the Ertls’s slow and inevitable breakdown through the various erratic trajectories of each family member: Hans’s undertakings of colossal, foolhardy projects and his subsequent spectacular failures; his daughter Monika, heir to his adventurous spirit, who joins the Bolivian Marxist guerrillas and becomes known as “Che Guevara’s avenger”; and his wife and two younger sisters left to pick up the pieces in their wake. In this short but powerful work, Hasbún weaves a masterfully layered tale of how a family’s voyage of discovery ends up eroding the affections that once held it together.
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Praise for AFFECTION
"Hasbún makes his English-language debut with a slim but juicy-sounding novel based on a real-life individual."
"In stripping down the story to its barest essence, Hasbún has intensified the effects of each individual scene; the volumes' worth of drama contained in the family's life emerge by suggestion and implication. A one-sitting tale of fragmented relationships with a broad scope, delivered with grace and power."
"Hasbún writes with patience and precision...This is a novel to savor for its richness and grace and its historical and political scope."
"Reminiscent of Paulo Coelho...An inventive, powerful novel."
"Engrossing...This is a book that can be read in one sitting or savored over time, but either way, it should be read."
"Hasbún’s writing is spare and powerful, and reading this provocative narrative...makes readers feel like they, too, are going on a difficult journey, looking in vain for a place where they can feel some sense of safety. ...Affections grapples with issues of distortion and loss, chaos and calamity, it does so with a remarkable lucidity, an expansive grace, and leaves readers with an uncomplicated longing to work toward better understanding the complicated reality in which we dwell."
Words Without Borders