Available Sep 20, 2022

160 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $17.99
ISBN: 9781954276079


ISBN: 9781954276086

Share on Goodreads

“Extraordinary. . . . Establish[es] an affinity between fiction and autobiography that unsettles generic divisions.”

World Literature Today

( link)
see more reviews hide reviews

Canción brings us into the violence of 1960s Guatemala, not only through the violence of rebels and the government, but through the eyes of a family entwined in the midst of it all.”

North of Oxford

( link)

“Another minimasterpiece by a master of the form.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

( link)

“A revealing look at war and its effect on families.”

Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)

“Halfon’s writing is beguiling, admixing as it does historical sleuthing, pensive remembrance, and an almost diaphanous assembling of facts and feelings.”

Jeremy Garber, Powell’s Books (Portland, OR)

In Canción, Eduardo Halfon’s eponymous wanderer is invited to a Lebanese writers’ conference in Japan, where he reflects on his Jewish grandfather’s multifaceted identity. To understand more about the cold, fateful day in January 1967 when his grandfather was abducted by Guatemalan guerillas, Halfon searches his childhood memories. Soon, chance encounters around the world lead to more clues about his grandfather’s captors, including a butcher nicknamed “Canción” (or song). As a brutal and complex history emerges against the backdrop of the Guatemalan Civil War, Halfon finds echoes in the stories of a woman he meets in Japan whose grandfather survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Through exquisite prose and intricate storytelling, Halfon exposes the atrocities of war and the effect that silence and extreme violence have on family and identity.

In consultation with the author, Canción was translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn, both of whom also contributed to the translations of The Polish Boxer, Monastery, and Mourning.

Cálamo Extraordinary Prize Winner

Kirkus Reviews “Most Anticipated Books” selection

Excerpt from Canción

Available Sep 20, 2022

Preview Canción in the New York Review of Books.