Saturday, April 18, 2015

Our April Author: Patricio Pron


This month we are reading Argentinian novelist Patricio Pron's My Fathers' Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain. Visit Pron's personal website, Patriciopron.com, to get acquainted with this young writer. Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of interview and discussion material available in English (though plenty in Spanish if you are so inclined), but here are a few items worth checking out:

The book is based on Pron's father's experiences and his father has contributed reactions and annotations to his son's novel which can be found in English here.

Hispanic New York has a lengthy interview on a variety of topics such as his first memorable read,
I recall myself reading Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days on a very hot summer in the northwest of the country in 1981 or 1982 and thinking—maybe for the first time—that there was a world out there—I mean, out of the oppressive realities of the Argentine dictatorship that each one of us perceived in a different way— and that freedom and love and adventure were there. And I also recall myself thinking about writers as people living all these things—the freedom, the love, the adventure Verne had written about—and coming back to tell us about them, and thinking about how great their service was.
Publisher's Weekly has a shorter interview with some useful insights into the construction of the novel and this response to a question about the novel's reception in Argentina
It’s been quite controversial because people didn’t expect a young writer, someone in my generation, to take part in discussing this history. The expectation is that the witnesses and protagonists will write about it, and I wanted to say that we who were children then, the unintended witnesses of the circumstances, also have things to say.
This short piece, The present of the past of things, written for English PEN, explores themes similar to the novel- collective guilt, personal responsibility, national history and family stories. 

If you want to sample more, Paris Review (Ideas) and Guernica (Bees) both offer up Pron short stories. Or explore Madrid with Pron at Words Without Borders.

Finally, check out Amnesty International's human rights concerns for Argentina here.
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