The Hole

(Author) (Translator)
& 2 more
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$12.95  $12.04
New Directions Publishing Corporation
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4.4 X 0.3 X 7.0 inches | 0.15 pounds
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About the Author

The writer and journalist José Revueltas (1914-1976) was a lifelong political dissident. In 1968, Revueltas spent two and a half years as a prisoner in the infamous Palacio de Lecumberri, a penitentiary near Mexico City. There, in the space of weeks, Revueltas wrote The Hole, using the real prison as the setting for his novella. Revueltas was awarded both prestigious the Premio Nacional de Literatura and the Xavier Villaurrutia Literary Prize.
Amanda Hopkinson is a Professor of Literary Translation at City, University of London and has translated over 40 books from Spanish, French, and Portuguese. She also writes on photography and is the author of History of Photography in Mexico (2019).
Sophie Hughes has translated novels by several contemporary Latin American and Spanish authors, including award-winning Laia Jufresa and Rodrigo Hasbún. Her translations and writing have been published in The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, Literary Hub, and The White Review, among others. In 2017 Sophie was awarded a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant.
Álvaro Enrigue was born in Mexico in 1969. He is an essayist, critic, professor, and the author of several novels and short story collections. His first novel La muerte de un instalador won the 1996 Joaquín Mortiz Prize. In 2007, the "Bogotá39" project named him one of the most promising Latin American writers of his generation.


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
José Revueltas is the synthesis of the Mexican soul: contradictory, unkempt, inventive, despairing, and shrewd. We love him dearly.--Pablo Neruda
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.-- (10/22/2018)
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.-- (10/31/2018)
The Hole, with its singular combination of oneiric horror and documentary realism, helped to galvanize a new cultural sensibility.
His legendary seventh novel, now in English for the first time, eschewed redemptive pieties. Its single, fevered paragraph is the darkest tale I've ever read....[a] black jewel of a novel.
Revueltas's febrile sentences are as concentrated and intense as anything by Thomas Bernhard or Hermann Broch.