, translated by Sophie Hughes, is loosely based on the real-life Ertl family, including patriarch Hans, who once served as Leni Riefenstahl’s cameraman before fleeing to Bolivia, and daughter Monika, who joined the Marxist guerrillas there. In short work, Hasbún fictionalizes the breakdown of this family, as they trek through a rainforest in the 1960s, but don’t let the book’s length fool you; Kirkus
says it “gallops across a half-century’s worth of transformations in Bolivia, and sections narrated by individual characters are marked by a surprising depth of emotional detail given the story’s brevity.”
University of Houston English professor and translator Hosam Aboul-Ela will join Hasbún in conversation Tuesday night at Brazos.
Rodrigo Hasbún’s U.S. debut,