190 words about Guillermo Saccomanno

Good air and unmarked graves

Quien sera el nuevo Bolaño? Loiter around the Latin American translated lit crowd long enough and it’s bound to come up, the inevitable question, the ghostly albatross publishers and booksellers alike have been grappling with how to move past for more than a decade, scouring the other American continent for someone showing similar potential. But what if you set aside your McSweeney's 46 for a second and hear me out that the closest thing we have to the next Bolaño is actually just one of his contemporaries? Enter Guillermo Saccomanno, who provides another avenue of understanding how often English readers are robbed of Latin American literature’s rich mosaic of voices. From the relatively approachable 77 to the (deliberately) Kafkaesque The Clerk to the beautiful 2666-esque behemoth Gesell Dome, Andrea G. Labinger’s translations of Saccomanno thus far paint an unsparing portrait of Argentina stained by the 20th century. His writing is a thing out of the ordinary, you can tell from the vibrations, full of inscrutable, unsaved damage and tremors where the pendulums swing. If you want some advice, get into him. Don’t give it another thought. You’ve still got time.