Tyrant Memory by Horacio Castellanos Moya

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Tyrant Memory is disorienting, though, and not in a good way. The majority of it is told through the diaries of Pericles’ loving wife, Haydee...She is very nice and kind and thoughtful, but also rather boring.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Castellanos Moya’s most thrilling book to date, about the senselessness of tyranny.


The tyrant of Horacio Castellanos Moya’s ambitious new novel is the actual pro-Nazi mystic Maximiliano Herna´ndez Marti´nez — known as the Warlock — who came to power in El Salvador in 1932. An attempted coup in April, 1944, failed, but a general strike in May finally forced him out of office. Tyrant Memory takes place during the month between the coup and the strike. Its protagonist, Hayde´e Aragon, is a well-off woman, whose husband is a political prisoner and whose son, Clemente, after prematurely announcing the dictator’s death over national radio during the failed coup, is forced to flee when the very much alive Warlock starts to ruthlessly hunt down his enemies. The novel moves between Hayde´e’s political awakening in diary entries and Clemente’s frantic and often hysterically comic efforts to escape capture. Tyrant Memory — sharp, grotesque, moving, and often hilariously funny — is an unforgettable incarnation of a coun- try’s history in the destiny of one family.
 

About Horacio Castellanos Moya

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Horacio Castellanos Moya was born 1957 in Honduras. He has lived in San Salvador, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico (where he spent ten years as a journalist, editor, and political analyst), Spain, and Germany. In 1988 he won the National Novel Prize from Central American University for his first novel. His work has been published and translated in England, Germany, El Salvador and Costa Rica. He has published ten novels and is now living in exile as part of the City of Asylum project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Katherine Silver is an award-winning literary translator and the co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC).
 
Published June 29, 2011 by New Directions. 281 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction
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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Jeff Parker on Jun 10 2011

Tyrant Memory is disorienting, though, and not in a good way. The majority of it is told through the diaries of Pericles’ loving wife, Haydee...She is very nice and kind and thoughtful, but also rather boring.

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