One of the remarkable qualities of Bolaño's short stories is that they seem to tell what Bolaño called 'the secret story', 'the one we'll never know'. The Return contains thirteen unforgettable tales bent on returning to haunt you, most of them appearing in English for the first time here. Wide-ranging, suggestive, and daring, a Bolaño story is just as likely to concern the unexpected fate of a beautiful ex-girlfriend, the history of a porn star or two embittered police detectives debating their favourite weapons: his plots go anywhere and everywhere and they always surprise. Consider the title piece: a young party animal collapses in a Parisian disco and dies on the dance floor; just as his soul is departing his body, it realizes strange doings are afoot - and what follows next defies the imagination (except Bolaño's own, of course).
Roberto Bolaño (1953-2003) was born in Santiago, Chile. Arrested and briefly jailed by the Pinochet regime in 1973, he lived the rest of his life in El Salvador, Mexico, France, and finally Spain, where he settled outside Barcelona. In his early forties, he began to publish short stories and novellas. His first full-length novel, The Savage Detectives, received the Herralde Prize and the Romulo Gallegos Prize when it appeared in 1998. When Roberto Bolaño died, at the age of fifty, he left behind a second full-length novel, 2666, which Picador Australia will publish in 2008.
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