Simone: A Novel

Paperback | November 2, 2015

byEduardo LaloTranslated byDavid Frye

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Eduardo Lalo is one of the most vital and unique voices of Latin American literature, but his work is relatively little known in the English-speaking world. That changes now: this masterful translation of his most celebrated novel, Simone—which won the 2013 Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize—will introduce an English-language audience to this extraordinary literary talent.

A tale of alienation, love, suspense, imagination, and literature set on the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Simone tells the story of a self-educated Chinese immigrant student courting (and stalking) a disillusioned, unnamed writer who is struggling to make a name for himself in a place that is not exactly a hotbed of literary fame. By turns solipsistic and political, romantic and dark, Simone begins with the writer’s frustrated, satiric observations on his native city and the banal life of the university where he teaches—forces utterly at odds with the sensuality of his writing. But, as mysterious messages and literary clues begin to appear—scrawled on sidewalks and walls, inside volumes set out in bookstores, left on his answering machine and under his windshield wiper—Simone progresses into a cat-and-mouse game between the writer and his mystery stalker. When the eponymous Simone’s identity is at last revealed, the writer finds in the life of this Chinese immigrant a plight not unlike his own. Traumatized and lonely, the pair moves towards bittersweet collaborations in passion, grief, and art.

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Eduardo Lalo is one of the most vital and unique voices of Latin American literature, but his work is relatively little known in the English-speaking world. That changes now: this masterful translation of his most celebrated novel, Simone—which won the 2013 Rómulo Gallegos International Novel Prize—will introduce an English-language au...

Eduardo Lalo is a writer, essayist, video artist, and photographer from Puerto Rico. He is the author of ten Spanish-language books, including La Inutilidad, Los Países Invisibles, and, most recently, El Deseo del Lápiz. David Frye is a lecturer in anthropology at the University of Michigan who translates both Spanish poetry and prose.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:152 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:November 2, 2015Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022620748X

ISBN - 13:9780226207483

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“There is something magnetic with the names in Simone. . . . The condition of strangeness is radicalized. All are equally foreign in this San Juan, the narrator as well as Li. . . . The relationship between the narrator and Li can also be read as an exploration, not without pathos and self-absorption, of the abyss that separates them. If a writer has to be, as we read in the novel, ‘an athlete of defeat,’ the same requirement would seem to be true for lovers, doomed to run toward a goal that, they know, never arrives on time.”