Loquela, Carlos Labbé’s fourth novel and second to be translated into English, is a narrative chameleon, a shape-shifting exploration of fiction’s possibilities.
At a basic level, this book is like a hybrid of Julio Cortázar and Paul Auster: a distorted detective novel, a love story, and a radical statement about narrative art. Behind the silence that unites and separates Carlos and Elisa, behind the game that estranges the albino girls, Alicia and Violeta, from the best summer afternoons, behind the destiny of Neutria—a city that disappears with childhood and returns with desire—and behind a literary movement that might be the ultimate vanguard while at the same time the greatest falsification, questions arise concerning who truly writes for whom in a novel—the author or the reader.
Through an array of voices, overlapping storylines, a kaleidoscope of literary references, and a delirious prose, Labbé carves out a space for himself among such form-defying Latin American greats as Diamela Eltit, Juan Carlos Onetti, and Jorge Luis Borges.
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