Difficult Light


Translated from by

Published: Coming June 2020


This item will be released on June 29, 2020.
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Book Description

Grappling with his son’s death, the painter David explores his grief through art and writing, etching out the rippled landscape of his loss.

Over twenty years after his son’s death, nearly blind and unable to paint, David turns to writing to examine the deep shades of his loss. Despite his acute pain, or perhaps because of it, David observes beauty in the ordinary: in the resemblance of a woman to Egyptian portraits, in the horseshoe crabs that wash up on Coney Island, in the foam gathering behind a ferry propeller; in these moments, González reveals the world through a painter’s eyes. From one of Colombia’s greatest contemporary novelists, Difficult Light is a daring meditation on grief, written in candid, arresting prose.

Copyright information for Difficult Light‘s cover photograph:
Saul Leiter, Perry Street Cat, c. 1949
© Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery

Self-delusion, hallucinations, anger, volatility chafe against the soothing waters and the stars above, and González, one of South America's most acclaimed and pitch-perfect novelists, plunges you into the brutality of man and nature alike.

Kerri Arsenault

González's last two novels, Difficult Light and The Storm were both hailed as quiet masterpieces at the time of their publication in Colombia...Through all his work you find the peaceful writing that admirably traces the ugliness of the world; the confidence of the narrative voice, seemingly conventional while eschewing the straitjackets of realism...He has a mysterious ability to uplift the commonplace and turn it into unforgettable images through careful observation and sensuous detail.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The Guardian

González invokes both Hemingway and Faulkner in his treatment of tortured family dynamics and laces the three - way banter in the boat with a fascinating, near - toxic atmosphere of machismo.

Publishers Weekly

In Andrea Rosenberg's translation, the author's stylistic traits – short and pointed phrases, poetic descriptions and poetic monologues – shine and linger in the reader's ear... The Storm arrives as a welcome addition to the international recognition of one Colombia's most prolific and poetic writers.

Nicolás Lano, Asymptote Journal