Like a Fading Shadow

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Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.2 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author

Antonio Muñoz Molina is the author of more than a dozen novels, including In the Night of Time, Sepharad, and A Manuscript of Ashes. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including Spain's National Narrative Prize, the Planeta Prize, and the Príncipe de Asturias Prize. He lives in Madrid and New York City.

Camilo A. Ramirez
is a Colombian literary translator, editor, and media strategist based in New York City.


I've now read Like a Fading Shadow four times, and I can see it will be one of a handful of books I open and start reading--somewhere, anywhere--at least once a year for the rest of my life. --Michael Hofmann, The London Review of Books

"Blurring fiction, memoir, and biography, the absorbing latest from Muñoz Molina tells two stories: James Earl Ray's 10-day excursion to Lisbon while on the run after assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, and the author's own research trip to the same city in 1987 when writing his first novel, A Winter in Lisbon . . . The novel reconstructs the past with incredible detail, and Muñoz Molina spins multiple possibilities for moments when Ray's actions are uncertain. The result is a fascinating dual portrait of a writer looking into the clouded mind of a murderer." --Publishers Weekly, boxed and starred review

"Antonio Muñoz Molina is a true original and has written a book unlike anything else, part fiction, part memoir, part meditation, in which the interiority of a murderer on the run--and not just any murderer, but James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King--is set against the interiority of the writer, when young, trying to find his voice. The stories of the killer and the writer circle each other, interrogate and echo each other, and then diverge. A novel is a kind of refuge too, Muñoz Molina suggests. Only one of the two men in this terrific book will find the refuge he seeks." --Salman Rushdie

"A fascinating premise made all the more intriguing by the autobiographical elements of the novel . . . [Like a Fading Shadow] is a stylistically complex novel, with shifts of perspective and time, and gorgeously layered language, a book in which to lose oneself, like Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler (1979). Molina's compelling tale also evokes comparisons to Don DeLillo's 'historiographic metafiction, ' especially in Libra (1988), which explores Lee Harvey Oswald much in the manner that Molina writes about James Earl Ray." --Booklist (starred review)

"Antonio Muñoz Molina is one of the best writers working today. Similar to his masterpiece Sepharad, Like a Fading Shadow is both a novel and a memoir, a historical document and invention, a treatise on the meaning of writing and that of being, and most important, an exquisite read." --Rabih Alameddine, author of An Unnecessary Woman

"Closely following Ray's path but intertwining it with Muñoz Molina's own writing process, [Like a Fading Shadow] delicately oscillates between an author's quest for truth and a criminal's search for safety . . . A tragically poetic study of the calamity that set back the civil rights movement." --Kirkus Reviews

"[Muñoz Molina] stumbles upon truths inaccessible to historians and other novelists alike." - BOMB Magazine