Purgatory by Tomás Eloy Martínez
A Novel

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A superb political reporter, Martínez perfected in his novels the blending of strict journalistic fact with the devices of fiction.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Purgatorio is Martínez's most moving, most autobiographical novel and yet it is also a ghost story, the ghost story which has been Argentina's history since 1973. It begins, 'Simón Cardoso had been dead for thirty years when Emilia Dupuy, his wife, found him at lunchtime in the dining room of Trudy Tuesday.' Simón, a cartographer like Emilia, had vanished during one of their trips to map an uncharted country road. Later testimonies had confirmed that he had been one of the thousands of victims of the military regime - arrested, tortured and executed for being a "subversive." Yet Emilia had refused to believe this account, and had spent her entire life waiting for him to reappear. Now in her sixties, the Simón she has found is identical to the man she lost three decades ago. While skirting around the mystery, Eloy Martínez masterfully peels away layer upon layer of history -both personal and political. Just as Simón's disappearance comes to represent the thousands of disappearances that became such a common occurrence during the dictatorship, so Emilia's refusal to accept his death mirror's the country's unwillingness to face its reality.
 

About Tomás Eloy Martínez

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Tom s Eloy Mart nez was born in Argentina in 1934. During the military dictatorship, he lived in exile in Venezuela where he wrote his first three books, all of which were republished in Argentina in 1983, in the first months of democracy. He was until his death in January 2010 a professor and director of the Latin American Program at Rutgers University. He was shortlisted for the 2005 International Man Booker Prize.
 
Published December 1, 2011 by Bloomsbury USA. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Alberto Manguel on Jan 13 2012

A superb political reporter, Martínez perfected in his novels the blending of strict journalistic fact with the devices of fiction.

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