'A delicate piece of craftsmanship ... A small great work' Juan Carlos Palma, Mercurio.
'Driven by an urgent narrative pulse and a great fluency of style... it will touch the heart of many readers for its sensitive and balanced exposition of the fundamental problems of the human condition' Angel Basanta, El Mundo.
'A calmly paced novel unafraid to linger in scenes long enough to realize their potential, but never so long that they become tedious ... The Sickness is refreshingly clean in its storytelling yet very complex in character' Anthony Furey, Times Literary Supplement.
'Tyszka is a perceptive, original writer. He has brought an unusually sophisticated understanding to a wonderfully intense, little novel. No sentimentality, no polemic, just emotion at its most resonant' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times.
'This is a short, tersely written novel that distances and invades us at the same time. Powerful themes and powerful writing [does] not let you off or let you down' Susan Hill, Lady.
'Written in direct and lyrical prose, The Sickness promises to place Tyszka at the front rank of new Latin American writers, and, in its poignant dissection of middle-class malaise and familial dynamics, establishes him with a claim to be the Venezuelan Ian McEwan' Booktrust Translated Fiction.
Ernesto Durán is convinced he is sick. It becomes an obsession far exceeding hypochondria, and when Dr Andrés Miranda gives up responding to his letters and e-mails, Durán resolves to stalk him. The fixation has its own creeping effect on Karina, the hospital secretary, who cannot resist becoming involved.
Meanwhile Dr Miranda is coming to terms with a tragedy of his own: his father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and yet the doctor - the son - finds it im-possible to tell him. He hopes that by taking his father on a trip to Isla Margarita, where they once went when he was a child, he might be able to reveal the truth.
The nature of sickness as experienced by two individuals provides the backbone to this tender, thoughtful and refined novel. The Sickness is profound and philosophical, and yet written with an agility that expresses the tragedy, but also the comedy of life itself. A brilliantly achieved first novel.
Alberto Barrera Tyszka, poet and novelist, is well known in Venezuela for his Sunday column in the newspaper El Nacional. He co-wrote the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed Hugo Chávez (2007), the first biography of the Venezuelan president. The Sickness won the prestigious Premio Herralde.
Margaret Jull Costa has translated many Portuguese, Spanish and Latin American writers, amongst them José Saramago, Mário de Sá-Carneiro and José Régio. She was joint-winner of the Portuguese Translation Prize in 1992, and won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 1997.
July 19, 2011 1:06 pm
Alberto is a Venezuelan born writer from Caracas ,he is well-known in his homeland for his biography of the enigmatic leader of his country Hugo Chavez ,he also writer piece for El Pais and Letrea libres from time to time.He has also wrote piece for television in his own country . This is his first novel in English won the Herralde prize for new works in spanish ,Bolano won this prize as well .
The sickness is a book that is about what it says on the cover sickness ,whether its real or imagine ,also death family and what it all means ,the book hinges on dr Andres Miranda ,His father is terminally ill ,they are on a trip to try to sort out ,what is going to happen to his father but also to bring some closeness to them ,also on another strand is on of the patients of Dr Miranda a man who is convinced he is ill and is constantly e mailing the doctor with his various aliments such as being breathless after exerting himself ,over course of the book his enquiries turn to stalking .meanwhile the father and son are on a boat going to the childhood holiday haunt of his father .
Dear Dr Miranda ,
I have a confession to make :I m following you .I’d love to see you face now ,to see your reaction .What do you think ? does it bother you ? Does it worry you ? does it frighten you perhaps ? or maybe you don’t even care ,perhaps you find it amusing .I no longer know what to think .
One of Duran’s e-mails ,as he starts to follow the dr Miranda .
The sickness is a riveting read ,about modern anxieties ,and life ,he tackles how we cope with impeding death ,also how caught up we can caught up in worries about our health ,this shows how worked up you can after small problems we tend to be surrounded by information in the modern age and this can drag us down this path of feel unwell due to stress .The father son relationship is well drawn as the son a tough doctor ,race to spend time with his dying father and rediscovering in some ways his humanity .I think this would be a great book group book in brings a lot to the table to discuss life ,death and illness could keep you going all night I would think .The translation from Jull costa is as ever highly readable .The book was shortlist for the IFF prize yesterday .
MacLehose Press staff memberBack To Top ^