Amulet: A Novel by Roberto Bolano

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8vo. pp. 184. wrs. [New York]: New Directions Books, [2006].

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.


"The most influential and admired novelist of his generation in the Spanish-speaking world." - Susan Sontag, The Time Literary Supplement (London)

Roberto Bolano's Amulet embodies in one woman's breathtaking voice the melancholy and violent history of Latin America.

Amulet begins: "This is going to be a horror story."

The speaker is Auxilio Lacouture: the "Mother of Mexican Poetry." Tall, thin, and blonde, she becomes famous as the sole person who resists the army's 1968 invasion of the university - she hides in a ladies room for twelve days. As she waits the occupiers out, famished, Auxilio recalls her life, her lost teeth, her beloved friends and poets, but she is soon in strange landscapes: in ice-bound mountains, in seedy bars in "the dark of the soul of Mexico City," in a terrifying chasm, and in the bathroom where moonlight shines, moving slowly from tile to tile.