Last Words on Earth: Book summary and reviews of Last Words on Earth by Javier Serena

Last Words on Earth

by Javier Serena

Last Words on Earth by Javier Serena X
Last Words on Earth by Javier Serena
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Sep 21, 2021
    120 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

In exile from his home country of Peru, Ricardo Funes embodies the ultimate starving artist.

Fired from almost every job he's held―usually for paying more attention to literature than work―he sets himself up in a rundown shack where he works on writing stories to enter in regional contests across Spain, and foisting his judgements about literature on anyone who will listen as one of the last remaining members of the "negacionismo" poetry movement. Completely dedicated to an unwavering belief in his own art, Funes struggles in anonymity until he achieves unbridled success with The Aztec and becomes a legend...at least for a moment. Diagnosed with lung cancer a few years later, Funes will only be able to enjoy his newfound attention for a short time.

Told through the voices of Funes's best friend, his wife, and himself, Last Words on Earth looks at the price―and haphazard nature―of fame through the lens of a Bolaño-esque writer who persevered just long enough to be transformed out of obscurity into being a literary legend right at the end of his life.

Paperback original.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Spanish writer Serena debuts with a stunning portrait of a Roberto Bolaño–esque writer who strikes literary gold while facing a terminal lung disease...Guadalupe's narration dramatically humanizes the now-mythical writer...This is a wonder." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Serena channels his observations about creativity into elegant sentences (via Whittemore's translation) that evoke the storm-clouded intensity of Bolaño's prose in books like 2666. A meditative tribute to perseverance and literary integrity." - Kirkus Reviews

"More than a novel about Roberto Bolaño, Last Words on Earth is a story about passion, sacrifice, and the uncompromising pursuit of literature. The writer's life, beautifully rendered, is told in prose that glimmers off the page. Serena's novel conveys the universal—the end of youth, fading dreams—by focusing on the specific. Not simply for fans of the writer, but anyone touched by the power of books and writing." - Mark Haber, author of Reinhardt's Garden

This information about Last Words on Earth shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Javier Serena

Javier Serena is a journalist and writer. His most recent books are Atila about the writer Aliocha Coll (forthcoming from Open Letter) and Last Words on Earth, a fictional biography of a Roberto Bolaño-esque writer.

Katie Whittemore is graduate of the University of NH (BA), Cambridge University (M.Phil), and Middlebury College (MA), and was a 2018 Bread Loaf Translators Conference participant. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Two Lines, the Arkansas International, the Common Online, Gulf Coast Magazine Online, the Los Angeles Review, the Brooklyn Rail, and InTranslation. Current projects include novels by Spanish authors Sara Mesa, Javier Serena, Aliocha Coll, Aroa Moreno Durán, Nuria Labari, Katixa Agirre, and Juan Gómez Bárcena.

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