Ezra Fitz, the translator of Alberto Fuguet’s Missing an Investigation, has posted the first chapter of the book on his blog. It is a sizable excerpt and I recommend that you read it. I have almost finished the book in Spanish and I have been impressed with the book. It is a book that should have a resonance with American readers and I hope a publisher will bring it out soon. Until then, you have the generous excerpt from the translator to tide you over.
(If you would like to read some of the reviews in the foreign press that I have covered, take a look here.)
From Fitz’s intro:
The book describes the author’s search for his uncle Carlos, who left his native Chile and disappeared into the vast and expansive United States. It’s been called an impressive reportorial look at what happens when someone becomes trapped between two cultures as well as what is lost and gained through immigration. This hybrid story is accompanied by a hybrid text comprised of emails, interviews, fiction, memoir, and something that can only be described as a Bukowski-esque epic poem. The best thing about this book is that it is no run of the mill sob strory or impetus for some kind of political reform. What it is is a family story about an uncle and nephew, a prodigal sons and the margins of American society through Chilean eyes.
Here is the opening:
In 1986, my uncle Carlos Patricio Fuguet García vanished off the face of the earth. He disappeared in Baltimore, Maryland, far from his native Santiago. The phone calls just stopped, and letters started being returned. A short while later, my father, his older brother, contacted his employer, a four-star hotel, and they knew nothing as to his whereabouts. Uncle Javier, his younger brother and my godfather, managed to get in touch with the superintendent of his apartment building, who told them he was no longer living there.
That was the last we ever heard of him.
From that point on, he was gone.
Nobody knew where he was.