Season of Ash


by Jorge Volpi

October 20, 2009
novel | pb | 464 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"

"Jorge Volpi will be one of the stars of Spanish literature of this century." 
—Carlos Fuentes

The Soviet biologist Irina Granina has experienced the worst of Communism, struggling to free her husband from the gulag for years. Following the rise of Gorbachev, her husband finally emerges a changed man, but then Irina is forced to witness the worst of capitalism, as her daughter Oksana disappears into the newly rapacious consumer society and she loses her husband again, this time to greed and a lust for power. 

In the West, Jennifer Moore, the scion of blue-blooded American wealth, takes a high-ranking job at the International Monetary Fund, where she hopes to bring the tough love of the free market economy to the unenlightened masses the world over. But she also has to deal with a philandering husband, Jack Wells, whose pharmaceutical company is a market wonder built on a house of cards, and her sister Allison, a free-spirited anti-globalization activist. 

Jorge Volpi's Season of Ash puts a human face on earth-shaking events of the late twentieth century: the Chernobyl disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Soviet communism and the rise of the Russian oligarchs, the cascading collapsing of developing economies, and the near-miraculous scientific advances of the Human Genome Project. A scientific investigation, a journalistic exposé, a detective novel, and a dark love story, Season of Ash is a thrilling exploration of greed and disillusionment, and a clear-eyed examination of the passions that rule our lives and make history.

Translated from the Spanish by Alfred Macadam

About the Author: Jorge Volpi is a doctor in law and a teacher of Mexican literature at the UNAM (Autonomous University of Mexico), as well as a PhD in Hispanic Philology by the University of Salamanca. The author of nine novels, including In Search of Klingsor, for which he won the Spanish Premio Biblioteca Breve prize and the French Deux-Océans-Grizane-Cavour Prize, Volpi is one of the founders of the "Crack" group—a Mexican literary movement that seeks to move beyond magical realism and mimics the ideals of the 1968 Latin American literary Boom. He has received grants from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation and is presently a member of National System of Creators in Mexico.


"Every generation or so a writer comes along who liberates his peers from oppressive expectations of what Latin American fiction is supposed to be. Jorge Volpi's In Search of Klingsorwoke everybody up!" 
—Francisco Goldman