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Product Details

$14.95  $13.75
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author

Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City, moved to the United States at the age of ten, went to school in South Florida, studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach literature for eight years at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá, he is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the prestigious José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. He has published eleven previous books of fiction in Spanish. The Polish Boxer, his first book to appear in English, was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and finalist for the International Latino Book Award. Halfon is currently the Harman Writer in Residence at Baruch College in New York and travels frequently between his homes in Nebraska and Guatemala.


Best Translated Book Award Longlist
Reader's Digest Great New Book
World Literature Today Holiday Gift Guide Recommendation
Jewish Journal Noteworthy Book for the New Year
Shelf Awareness World Literature: Booksellers Recommend selection
Library Journal Indie Fiction in Translation: Don't-Miss Titles from Around the World
Jewish Book Council Weekly Recommended Read

"A moving, reflective, and humbly resounding work of fiction. . . . Monastery, with its beautiful prose, vibrant imagery, and singular outlook on the abundance of individual and shared experience, deserves to win this year's Best Translated Book Award. As an ambassador of both worldly wonder and sublime storytelling, Eduardo Halfon's Monastery, despite its brevity, is truly a marvel." --Best Translated Book Award Longlist citation

"[The protagonist] may be the perpetual wanderer, but his meditations are focused and absorbing." --Library Journal Indie Fiction in Translation of the Year citation

"Zip[s] us around the world from Tel Aviv to rural Guatemala to New York, offering surprise and revelation at every turn." --Reader's Digest

"Intelligent and authentic." --Jewish Book Council

"Monastery, which looks at Guatemala and the world from the divided perspective of a Jew and Guatemalan [displays] a constantly surprising sensitivity, even tenderness toward both worlds and the ways they resonate even when they appear deaf to each other. . . . In the admirable translation by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn, the idiomatic, contemporary American English voice comes across as innate to this cosmopolitan narrator, without losing all its Spanishness." --The Common

"Call it a confirmation bias. Everywhere I turned this year, I saw a new expression of Arab Jewish identity. The revival seems to be happening across all fields--literature, food, music--yet somehow nobody's talking about it. . . . Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered Eduardo Halfon's new novel, Monastery, in which the conflicted, tragicomic protagonist denies his Arab identity when talking to certain Jews, and his Jewish identity when talking to certain Arabs." -- Forward

"Halfon gives voice to a lesser-known sector of the Jewish diaspora, reminding us in the process of the ways in which identity is both fluid and immutable." --Publishers Weekly

"[A] sly, quietly penetrating account of life on the road. . . . One of [Halfon's] special attributes is never forcing meaning on his experiences. . . . But he's also great at reversing our initial impressions of people and places. . . . A rising star among Latin writers, Halfon is a lively traveling companion." --Kirkus Reviews

"In this enigmatic follow-up to Halfon's lovely The Polish Boxer, readers follow the same narrator as he journeys around Central America, Europe, and Israel. . . . As if slowly filling in negative space, Halfon gradually gives shape to the uneasy relationship he has with his own allegiances and heritage as well as the outsider position he occupies wherever he goes, even within his own country. A subtle work that defies easy categorization in the best way." --Booklist

"If I were still a bookseller, I'd happily place [Monastery] in your hands and say, 'You've got to read th[is]!'" --Shelf Awareness for Readers