Eduardo Halfon’s story follows closely the departure of a well-off industrialist Jewish family from Guatemala in the early 1980s. The events are seen from the point of view of the naive, inquisitive ten-year-old son. In Anne McLean’s vivid translation, the wrenching upheaval of the family’s departure emerges as a microcosm of the country’s descent into hell.
Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of ten, went to school in Florida, studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach Literature during eight years at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. In 2007, he was named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá. He has published ten books of fiction, and has received in Spain the prestigious José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. He was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue the story of “The Polish Boxer”, which is the first of his novels to be published in English, by Bellevue Literary Press.