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Descripción de editorial
‘This is an impressive book. In writing it the author demonstrates great talent, as well as great courage.’
—Mario Vargas Llosa
If I succeed in understanding who he was before I was born, perhaps I will be able to understand who I am now that he is dead…
In this sprawling family saga stretching across Latin America, a son embarks on a journey to understand his complex relationship with his father and how it shaped the man he is today. Recalling Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits, the renowned journalist and writer Renato Cisneros probes deep into his own family history to try to come to terms with his father, General Luis Federico ‘The Gaucho’ Cisneros, a leading, controversial figure in the oppressive military regime that held power in Peru during the 1970s and 1980s, a tortuous period marked by state-sanctioned terrorism and the rise of the Shining Path.
Selling over 35,000 copies in Peru alone, The Distance Between Us is at once excruciating in its honesty and deeply moving in its universal relevance. Selected for a slew of international prizes, it is now available in English for the first time.
Peruvian writer Cisneros's revelatory English-language debut, expertly translated by Petch, is a fictional biography of his late father, Lt. Gen. Luis Federico Cisneros Vizquerra ("El Gaucho"). Born in Buenos Aires in 1926, the Gaucho earned his nickname at the age of 11 and carried it with him to military college. A forbidden romance, however, detoured the Gaucho from a career in the Argentine military to one in the Peruvian. After a coup in 1975, the Gaucho is promoted to minster of the interior, while a scandalous affair with his secretary brings the younger Cisneros into the world. A notorious and bombastic public figure, the Gaucho mingled with Henry Kissinger and Augusto Pinochet while imprisoning and disappearing dissidents. (His outbursts, such as "I don't imprison people out of malice, but out of firmness," frequently made headlines.) It is to the author's credit that he interrogates both his father's villainy and the villain's fatherhood. A stern man who boxed ears at academic mishaps was also capable of sharing a beer with his boy. Whether those rare moments are enough for Renato to forgive the Gaucho for his trespasses is what this book seeks to answer. Cisneros's brave gaze into the abyss of a strongman's heart is worth a look.