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A Little Lumpen Novelita

by Roberto Bolaño

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Bolaño is always refreshing to read because things are never what they seem.

—Randy Rosenthal, Tweed's Magazine

Published in Spanish right before Bolaño's death, A Little Lumpen Novelita percolates with a fierce and tender love of women

A Little Lumpen Novelita

Fiction by Roberto Bolaño

translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer

“Now I am a mother and a married woman, but not long ago I led a life of crime”: so Bianca begins her tale of growing up the hard way in Rome. Orphaned overnight as a teenager—“our parents died in a car crash on their first vacation without us”—she drops out of school, gets a crappy job, and drifts into bad company. Her younger brother brings home two petty criminals who need a place to stay. As the four of them share the family apartment and plot a strange crime, Bianca learns how low she can fall.

Electric and tense with foreboding, with its jagged, propulsive short chapters beautifully translated by Natasha Wimmer, A Little Lumpen Novelita delivers a surprising, fractured fairy tale of seizing control of one’s fate.

published September 16th, 2014