With the government’s dehumanizing maneuvers so recently scored into memory, he devised a story in which dehumanization and reality are fastened together. A miasma pervades everything from the novella’s prison setting to its guards, inmates, and visitors. His characters’ humanity narrows toward nothingness here, surviving only in the fugitive kindnesses, the passing visions, the vestigial maternal instincts. These undulations of gloom and hope are now available to English readers. This translation is the result of a careful, yearlong effort by Amanda Hopkinson and Sophie Hughes. What they have prepared is less like a fusty literary relic than a shout, hoarse with fury and anxiety, that crackles into earshot.

Slant

The Hole

Fiction by José Revueltas

Translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes Amanda Hopkinson

With a contribution by Álvaro Enrigue

Set in a Mexican prison in the late 1960s, The Hole follows three inmates as they attempt to sneak in drugs under the noses of their ape-like guards. Desperate to secure their next fix, they hatch a plan that involves convincing one of their mothers to bring the drugs into the prison. But everything about their plot is doomed from the beginning, doomed to end in violence …

Unfolding in a single paragraph, The Hole is a verbal torrent, a prison inside a prison, and an ominous parable about deformed and wretched institutions creating even more deformed and wretched individuals.

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published October 30, 2018)

ISBN
9780811227780
Price US
12.95
Price CN
17.50
Trim Size
4.5x7.25
Page Count
80
ISBN
9780811227797

José Revueltas

Mexican writer and activist

With the government’s dehumanizing maneuvers so recently scored into memory, he devised a story in which dehumanization and reality are fastened together. A miasma pervades everything from the novella’s prison setting to its guards, inmates, and visitors. His characters’ humanity narrows toward nothingness here, surviving only in the fugitive kindnesses, the passing visions, the vestigial maternal instincts. These undulations of gloom and hope are now available to English readers. This translation is the result of a careful, yearlong effort by Amanda Hopkinson and Sophie Hughes. What they have prepared is less like a fusty literary relic than a shout, hoarse with fury and anxiety, that crackles into earshot.

Slant

This dark, disturbing, and powerful novel from Revueltas—who wrote it while imprisoned as a political dissident in Mexico’s infamous Lecumberri prison—tells the story of three prisoners trying to smuggle heroin into their prison…everything goes wrong, the dissolution of the doomed plan comprising the book’s nightmarish and unforgettable ending.

Publishers Weekly (starred)

Revueltas undertook an examination of conscience that impresses me for two reasons: for the scrupulous honor with which he carried it out, and for the subtlety and profundity of his analysis.

—Octavio Paz

It is impossible to understand contemporary Latin American literature without Revueltas’s masterpiece, The Hole. Its current invisibility in the English language places works like Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 and César Aira’s political novellas in a bibliographical vacuum.

—Valeria Luiselli

José Revueltas is the synthesis of the Mexican soul: contradictory, unkempt, inventive, despairing, and shrewd. We love him dearly.

—Pablo Neruda