Rafael Bernal

Rafael Bernal

Rafael Bernal (1915–1972), the renowned Mexican novelist, journalist, and diplomat, was celebrated for his ability to inhabit and explode various genre forms: The Mongolian Conspiracy spun a pulpy noir into literature, and now His Name Was Death smuggles sci-fi and eco-fiction into new realms.


The LA Times on The Mongolian Conspiracy

“1969 thriller finally gets English translation” The Boston Globe on The Mongolian Conspiracy

Publisher’s Weekly on The Mongolian Conspiracy

Lit Reactor on The Mongolian Conspiracy

NPR on The Mongolian Conspiracy

Kirkus Review on The Mongolian Conspiracy

Down and Out Mag on The Mongolian Conspiracy

The New York Times on The Mongolian Conspiracy

His Name Was Death

Fiction by Rafael Bernal

Translated from the Spanish by Kit Schluter

With a contribution by Yuri Herrera

Never before in English, this legendary precursor to ecofiction turns the coming insect apocalypse on its head. A bitter drunk forsakes civilization and takes to the Mexican jungle, trapping animals, selling their pelts to buy liquor for colossal benders, and slowly rotting away in his fetid hut. His neighbors, a local Chiapas tribe, however, see something more in him than he does himself (dubbing him Wise Owl). When he falls deathly ill, a shaman named Black Ant saves his life—and, almost by chance, in driving out his fever, she exorcises the demon of alcoholism as well.…
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The Mongolian Conspiracy

by Rafael Bernal

Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

With a contribution by Francisco Goldman

Only a couple of days before the state visit of the President of the United States, Filiberto García — an impeccably groomed “gun for hire,” ex–Mexican revolutionary, and classic antihero — is recruited by the Mexican police to discover how much truth there might be to KGB and CIA reports of a Chinese-Mongolian plot to assassinate the Mexican and American presidents during the unveiling of a statue in Mexico City.…
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Full of violent hesitation and contradictions, His Name Was Death is also a book about the power of writing.
—Yuri Herrera
< William Goyen Francisco Goldman >