Gustavo Faverón Patriau’s debut novel The Antiquarian, first published in Spanish in 2011 to effusive acclaim, continues to gain momentum with a suite of new translations lined up for the upcoming year, including an English edition to be released June 3, 2014. Faverón Patriau, a Peruvian writer and scholar, is Associate Professor of Romance Languages and director of Bowdoin’s Latin American Studies Program.
A neo-gothic psychological thriller that explores the underground culture of obsessive book collectors while probing connections between madness and social violence, The Antiquarian has been lauded as an “ambitious, complex novel” by none other than the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa.
“Those who read by simultaneously working with the writer, fantasizing alongside him, capable of enjoying the subtleties and secrets of a text as rich and profound as the text of this novel, will never forget it,” wrote Vargas Llosa, in a long letter to Faverón Patriau in praise of the book. This letter “was thrilling for me because Vargas Llosa was the first contemporary novelist I ever read when I was a kid,” Faverón Patriau said. “His books decided my vocation as a writer and a literature scholar.” At Vargas Llosa’s invitation, Faverón Patriau gave a series of talks and round table discussions in Lima, Peru, earlier this spring.
Faverón Patriau, whose blog (in Spanish) can be found here, has authored two books of literary theory, edited anthologies on Peruvian literature and the Chilean fiction writer Roberto Bolaño, and written many articles and essays as a journalist, literary critic, and social critic. His debut novel has received starred reviews from Booklist and Kirkus Reviews and was listed among the 2014 Best Summer Books by Publisher’s Weekly.
Originally published in Peru, The Antiquarian will be released in the United States by Grove Atlantic, with translation by Joseph Mulligan. The English version will soon be followed by editions published around the globe in Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, and Turkish, as well as a new Spanish edition through a publisher in Spain.