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Through the story of Hakan, a Swedish immigrant to the United States in the mid 1800s, Diaz meditates on the nature of impersonal landscape, explores a life of isolation, and tours through some of characters that carved the identity of the American West. This is a strange and brilliant version of historical fiction, twisting the genre into something unique. For fans of Cormac McCarthy and Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries.
Josh— From In the Distance
A young Swedish immigrant finds himself penniless and alone in California. The boy travels East in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great current of emigrants pushing West. Driven back again and again, he meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, swindlers, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Diaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre, offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.
Hernan Diaz is the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity (Bloomsbury 2012), managing editor of RHM, and associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He lives in New York.