by Roberto Bolaño
Born in Santiago, Chile, Roberto Bolaño (1953–2003) moved to Mexico City with his family in 1968. He went back to Chile in 1973 to “help build socialism” (as he wrote in his story “Dance Card”), but less than a month after his return Pinochet seized power. Bolaño was arrested and imprisoned in Concepción. After his release, he returned to Mexico before moving to Paris and then on to Barcelona. Bolaño has been acclaimed as “the real thing and the rarest” (Susan Sontag), “a spellbinder” (Newsweek), and “never less than mesmerizing” (Los Angeles Times). Winner of many prizes, including the Premio Herralde de Novela and the Premio Rómulo Gallegos, Bolaño wrote ten novels, two collections of short stories and five books of poetry before he died at the age of 50, on July 15, 2003.