International Latino Book Award Finalist"New York Times" "Editors' Choice" "Los Angeles Times" "Holiday Gift Recommendation"Two-time "San Francisco Chronicle" "Top Shelf" selection"Shelf Unbound" Top 10 Book of the Year"Jewish Week" "Fall Arts Preview" selection"Publishers Weekly" "First Fiction" selectionJewish Book Council "Weekly Book Recommendation"Book Expo America "Big Book" "Funny and revelatory." --"New York Times Book Review" "Elegant" --"Marie Claire" "Deeply accessible, deeply moving." --"Los Angeles Times" "Fantastic . . . Intense pain and beauty are offset by an unabashedly boyish sense of humor; in the same page, Halfon can skillfully switch from a discussion about intense immigrant alienation to a hilarious observation on the short male attention span for pornography." --NPR "Alt.Latino" "Engrossing . . . "The Polish Boxer" by Guatemalan novelist Eduardo Halfon, is a semi-autobiographical tale about roots and origins, identity and cultural loss, and the complex relation between the individual, his or her family story, and the heavy burden of History . . . Short but intense." --NBC Latino "Stimulating and inspiring." --"Independent" (UK) "Tight and lean . . . falling somewhere between the novels of Roberto Bolano, WG Sebald, and Junot Diaz." --"Telegraph" (UK) "["The Polish Boxer"] exists in the no-man's-land between fiction and memoir. In the end, we decide, this is fable: only the stories are important." --"Guardian" (UK) "A mix of finely nuanced prose and humor." --"World Literature Today" "Beautiful and provocative . . . a wonderful read which begs to be re-read." --"Jewish Book World" "This book provides multiple pleasures: clear, intense prose; sharp, laugh-out-loud depictions of classrooms and conferences . . . and the apparent seamlessness of the translations . . . . The book itself gives a resounding retort to those who might dismiss i
The Polish Boxer covers a vast landscape of human experience while enfolding a search for origins: a grandson tries to make sense of his grandfather’s past and the story behind his numbered tattoo; a Serbian classical pianist longs for his forbidden heritage; a Mayan poet is torn between his studies and filial obligations; a striking young Israeli woman seeks answers in Central America; a university professor yearns for knowledge that he can’t find in books and discovers something unexpected at a Mark Twain conference. Drawn to what lies beyond the range of reason, they all reach for the beautiful and fleeting, whether through humour, music, poetry, or unspoken words. Across his encounters with each of them, the narrator a Guatemalan literature professor and writer named Eduardo Halfon pursues his most enigmatic subject: himself. Mapping the geography of identity in a world scarred by a legacy of violence and exile, The Polish Boxer marks the debut of a major new Latin American voice in English.