Woes of the True Policeman: A Novel (Paperback)
This short novel, for me, is the best thing Bolaño ever wrote. Filled with dark humor, poetry, vulnerability, and magic, it's an absolute masterpiece.— From Jeff
Author of The Savage Detectives and 2666
Crushed by a devastating scandal, university professor Óscar Amalfitano flees Barcelona for Santa Teresa—a Mexican city close to the U.S. border, where women are being killed in staggering numbers. There, Amalfitano begins an affair with Castillo, a young forger of Larry Rivers paintings, while his daughter, Rosa, reeling from the weight of his secrets, seeks solace in a romance of her own. Yet when she finds her father in bed with Castillo, Rosa is confronted with the full force of her crisis.
What follows is an intimate police investigation of Amalfitano, leading to a finale of euphoria and heartbreak. Featuring characters and stories from The Savage Detectives and 2666, Roberto Bolaño's Woes of the True Policeman mines the depths of art, memory, and desire—and marks the culmination of one of the great careers of world literature.
Natasha Wimmer is a translator who has worked on Roberto Bolaño’s 2666, for which she was awarded the PEN Translation prize in 2009, and The Savage Detectives. She lives in New York.
“The most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation.” —The New York Times Book Review
“One of our greatest writers...Latin American letters (wherever it may reside) has never had a greater, more disturbing avenging angel than Bolaño.” —Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review
“The writing never feels stale but, rather incredibly, shines anew....The publication of a Bolaño novel, complete or not, is never anything less than an event of language and devilish wit.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Bolaño's voice demands attention.” —The New Yorker
“Bolaño [seems] to come from an understanding that people are portholes; that a creation can represent singular space that otherwise would go unknown....He allows the novel to vibrate through its box.” —Vice
“Indelible Bolaño...[Woes of the True Policeman] may offer insight into the writer's larger project.” —Los Angeles Times
“Full of delights...like watching a master magician unpacking his bag of tricks.” —The New Orleans Times-Picayune