One of our recommended books for 2019 is Space Invaders by Nona Fernandez

SPACE INVADERS

A Novel


Space Invaders is the story of a group of childhood friends who, in adulthood, are preoccupied by uneasy memories and visions of their classmate Estrella González Jepsen. In their dreams, they catch glimpses of Estrella’s braids, hear echoes of her voice, and read old letters that eventually, mysteriously, stopped arriving. They recall regimented school assemblies, nationalistic class performances, and a trip to the beach. Soon it becomes clear that Estrella’s father was a ranking government officer implicated in the violent crimes of the Pinochet regime, and the question of what became of her after she left school haunts her erstwhile friends.

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Space Invaders is the story of a group of childhood friends who, in adulthood, are preoccupied by uneasy memories and visions of their classmate Estrella González Jepsen. In their dreams, they catch glimpses of Estrella’s braids, hear echoes of her voice, and read old letters that eventually, mysteriously, stopped arriving. They recall regimented school assemblies, nationalistic class performances, and a trip to the beach. Soon it becomes clear that Estrella’s father was a ranking government officer implicated in the violent crimes of the Pinochet regime, and the question of what became of her after she left school haunts her erstwhile friends. Growing up, these friends—from her pen pal, Maldonado, to her crush, Riquelme—were old enough to sense the danger and tension that surrounded them, but powerless in the face of it. They could control only the stories they told each other and the “ghostly green bullets” they fired in the video game they played obsessively.

One of the leading Latin American writers of her generation, Nona Fernández effortlessly builds a choral voice and constantly shifting image of young life in the waning years of the dictatorship. In her short but intricately layered novel, she summons the collective memory of a generation, rescuing felt truth from the oblivion of official history.

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  • Graywolf Press
  • Paperback
  • November 2019
  • 88 Pages
  • 9781644450079

Buy the Book

$14.00

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About Nona Fernández & Natasha Wimmer (Translator)

Nona Fernandez is the author of Space Invaders, Credit: Andrés OlivaresNona Fernández was born in Santiago, Chile. She is an actress and writer, and has published two plays, a collection of short stories, and six novels, including Space Invaders and The Twilight Zone, which was awarded the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize.

Natasha Wimmer is the translator of Space Invaders by Nona Fernández, as well as nine books by Roberto Bolaño, including The Savage Detectives and 2666. Her most recent translations are Bolaño’s The Spirit of Science FictionSudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, and The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Praise

“Like compatriot Alia Trabucco Zerán’s recently published novel The Remainder, Fernández takes a sidelong, subtle approach to the grim realities of life in the Chile of her youth, episodes of which, she suggests, figure in her story. A slender story, impressively economical, that speaks volumes about lives torn by repression.”Kirkus Reviews

“A dark and deceptively playful novel about a generation of Chilean kids who try to understand the terrible country they live in.”—Alejandro Zambra

Space Invaders is an absolute gem—a book of uncommon depth, precise in its language, unsparing in its emotion, unflinching as it evokes a past many would prefer to forget.”—Daniel Alarcón