In the Distance: Book summary and reviews of In the Distance by Hernan Diaz

In the Distance

by Hernan Diaz

In the Distance by Hernan Diaz X
In the Distance by Hernan Diaz
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2017
    240 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

A brilliant and fresh take on the old-school western.

A young Swedish immigrant finds himself penniless and alone in California. The boy travels East in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great current of emigrants pushing West. Driven back again and again, he meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, swindlers, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Diaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre, offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Boxed and Starred Review. The book contains some of the finest landscape writing around, so potent because it reflects Håkan's solitude: 'Nothing interrupted the mineral silence of the desert. In its complete stillness, the world seemed solid, as if made of one single dry block'." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Resonant historical fiction with a contemporary feel." - Library Journal

"Not for the faint of heart, perhaps, but an ambitious and thoroughly realized work of revisionist historical fiction." - Kirkus

"Diaz's novel is a creature all its own, and it's one of the very few works of fiction that transport you, emotionally and imaginatively, to an utterly new place. It's a breathtaking trip." - Paul La Farge

"If I could hand you this book I would. Read this...this is fiction at its finest - propulsive, unsettling, wildly ambitious, and an unforgettable journey that we will certainly return to in the years to come." - Paul Yoon, author of The Mountain

"In the Distance by Hernan Diaz sends a shotgun blast through standard received notions of the Old West and who was causing trouble in it. Håkan and his adventures, which are truly extraordinary, not to mention beautifully written, had me from the novel's first striking chapter to the last." - Laird Hunt

"On its surface, In the Distance is a haunting and unique tale of survival - with all the thrilling frustrations of such. Deeper still, it is a story about the devastation wrought by the American Dream - the West as it happened to many, in spite of all they'd hoped." - Colin Winnette

"[Diaz] crafts a solitude that becomes, in Diaz's skilled hands, as American as the landscape. In prose that is as bold as the western sky, Diaz has written an unforgettable tale of soulfulness and survival." - Alyson Hagy, author of Boleto

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Author Information

Hernan Diaz

Hernan Diaz is the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity , managing editor of RHM, and associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He lives in New York.

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