February 12, 2019
novel | pb | 220 pgs.
5.5" x 8.5"
"As his characters grapple with love, allegiance, and daily life under a
dictatorship, every action is a form of resistance." —Monica Carter, Foreword Reviews
"With western democracies on the descent, it’s not hard to read Saccomanno’s novel as a dystopian warning for the present." —CrimeReads
Buenos Aires, 1977. In the darkest days of the Videla dictatorship, Gómez, a gay high-school literature teacher, tries to keep a low profile as, one-by-one, his friends and students begin to disappear. When Esteban, one of Gómez’s favorite students, is taken away in a classroom raid, Gómez realizes that no one is safe anymore, and that asking too many questions can have lethal consequences. His life gradually becomes a paranoid, insomniac nightmare that not even his nightly forays into bars and bathhouses in search of anonymous sex can relieve. Things get even more complicated when he takes in two dissidents, putting his life at risk—especially since he’s been having an affair with a homophobic, sadistic cop with ties to the military government. Told mostly in flashbacks thirty years later, 77 is rich in descriptive detail, dream sequences, and even elements of the occult, which build into a haunting novel about absence and the clash between morality and survival when living under a dictatorship.
Translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger
About the Author:
Guillermo Saccomanno is the author of numerous novels and story collections, including El buen dolor, winner of the Premio Nacional de Literatura, and 77 and Gesell Dome, both of which won the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers. He also received Seix Barral’s Premio Biblioteca Breve de Novela for El oficinista and the Rodolfo Walsh Prize for nonfiction for Un maestro. Critics tend to compare his works to those of Balzac, Zola, Dos Passos, and Faulkner.
About the Translator:
Andrea G. Labinger is the translator of more than a dozen works from the Spanish, including books by Ana María Shua, Liliana Heker, Luisa Valenzuela, and Alicia Steimberg, among others.
"77 sings a dark song of one man’s struggle to stay human when the inhumane lurks on every corner and the day-to-day reality of his world is curdled by the struggle between unchecked power and subversive acts." —Ross Nervig, Southwest Review
“Like Twin Peaks reimagined by Roberto Bolaño.”
“Cynical and funny: a yarn worthy of a place alongside Cortázar and Donoso.”
"77 is ostensibly a novel about Argentina’s Dirty War; it is also a book about reconciling inaction with survival."
—World Literature Today