Private: Carlos LABBÉ

Navidad y Matanza

Periférica, 2007

Translations

USA / Open Letter Books

Press

“It is possible that this year you will read some books with striking artistic value. This, without a doubt, will be one of them.” J. Ernesto Ayala‐Dip, El País

Synopsis

The reader of Navidad y Matanza has to decipher which of these stories is not an alegory: a teenager and his chauffeur drive along beaches in a Cadillac, tricking bathers and stealing their towels; seven scientists lock themselves in an isolated North American laboratory until they come up with the formula for a drug called «the ecstasy of hate»; a melancholy journalist investigates the disappearance of a pair of young siblings, Bruno and Alicia Vivar, during an exclusive international celebration held on the
coast of Chile. Like a Chesterton novel, the characters in Navidad y Matanza change identities on
every page in order to force the limits of their stories and reach the very author of this novel –the young Chilean writer Carlos Labbé– like a board game whose place markers advance towards an unthinkable ending. A novel game that is, above all, an excellent and vigorous portrayal of truly distinctive characters. And a writer who many consider to be one of the heirs to Roberto Bolaño.