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Open Letter

Last Words on Earth

Last Words on Earth

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In exile from his home country of Peru, Ricardo Funes embodies the ultimate starving artist. Fired from almost every job he's held--usually for paying more attention to literature than work--he sets himself up in a rundown shack where he works on writing stories to enter in regional contests across Spain, and foisting his judgements about literature on anyone who will listen as one of the last remaining members of the negacionismo poetry movement. Completely dedicated to an unwavering belief in his own art, Funes struggles in anonymity until he achieves unbridled success with The Aztec and becomes a legend . . . at least for a moment. Diagnosed with lung cancer a few years later, Funes will only be able to enjoy his newfound attention for a short time.

Told through the voices of Funes's best friend, his wife, and himself, Last Words on Earth looks at the price--and haphazard nature--of fame through the lens of a Bolaño-esque writer who persevered just long enough to be transformed out of obscurity into being a literary legend right at the end of his life.

Author: Javier Serena
Publisher: Open Letter
Published: 09/21/2021
Pages: 120
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.40lbs
Size: 7.95h x 4.96w x 0.55d
ISBN: 9781948830324

Review Citation(s):
Publishers Weekly 06/21/2021
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2021

About the Author
Javier Serena is a journalist and writer. His most recent books are Atila about the writer Aliocha Coll (forthcoming from Open Letter) and Last Words on Earth, a fictional biography of a Roberto Bolaño-esque writer.

Katie Whittemore is graduate of the University of NH (BA), Cambridge University (M.Phil), and Middlebury College (MA), and was a 2018 Bread Loaf Translators Conference participant. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Two Lines, The Arkansas International, The Common Online, Gulf Coast Magazine Online, The Los Angeles Review, The Brooklyn Rail, and InTranslation. Current projects include novels by Spanish authors Sara Mesa, Javier Serena, Aliocha Coll, Aroa Moreno Durán, Nuria Labari, Katixa Agirre, and Juan Gómez Bárcena.
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