Not Even the Dead
by Open Letter
A claim of justice for the losers of history with echoes of authors as different as Joseph Conrad, Alejo Carpentier, and David Mitchell.
The conquest of Mexico is over, and Juan de Toñanes is one of so many soldiers without glory who roam like beggars for the land they helped subdue. When he receives one last mission, to hunt down a renegade Indian who’s called the Father and who preaches a dangerous heresy, he understands that this may be his last chance to carve himself the future he’s always dreamed of. But as he goes deep into the unexplored lands of the north following the Father's trace, he will discover the footprints of a man who seems not only a man, but a prophet destined to transform his time and even the times to come.
Not Even the Dead is the story of a persecution that transcends territories and centuries; a path pointing northward, always northward, that is to say, always toward the future, on a hallucinated journey from the sixteenth century New Spain to today's Trump wall. Old conquerors on horseback and migrants riding the roofs of the Beast, rebellious Indians and peasants waiting patiently for a better world, Mexican revolutionaries who take their rifles and women murdered in the desert of Ciudad Juárez, all pass by it. All of them share the same landscape and the same hope, the arrival of the Father who will bring justice to the oppressed.
Translated from the Spanish by Katie Whittemore
About the Author:
Juan Goméz Barcenà (1984) has degrees in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature, History, and Philosophy. He is the prize-winning author of four novels and one collection of short fiction. Awards for his work include the City of Barcelona Prize, the Spanish National Radio Ojo Crítico Prize, and the Vanity Fair Prize for Best Novel of the Year. His work has been translated in eight languages and he has been recognized as one of the most outstanding authors of new Spanish prose. He lives in Madrid.
About the Translator:
Katie Whittemore translates from the Spanish. Her work has appeared in Two Lines, The Arkansas International, The Common Online, Gulf Coast Magazine Online, The Brooklyn Rail, and InTranslation. Current projects include novels by Spanish authors Sara Mesa, Javier Serena, Aliocha Coll, and Aroa Moreno Durán. She lives in Valencia.
Praise for Juan Goméz Bárcena: