Space Invaders

by NONA FERNÁNDEZ

£9.99

Fiction

Paperback

9781914198205

Published by Daunt Books

Published July 2022

Books > Fiction

‘A small jewel of a book . . . Fernández’s picturesque language and dream-like atmosphere is well worth being invaded by. A book to slip in the pocket to read and reread.’ Patti Smith

Preoccupied by uneasy memories and visions, a group of friends look back on their childhood. Their dreams circle their old classmate Estrella González Jepsen. They catch glimpses of her braids, hear echoes of her voice, read old letters. They recall regimented school assemblies, nationalistic class performances and a trip to the beach.

It soon transpires that Estrella’s father was a ranking government officer implicated in the Pinochet regime and after she simply disappeared, question of what became of her haunts her former friends. Growing up, they were old enough to sense the danger and tension that surrounded them but powerless to resist or confront it. They could control only the stories they told one another and the ‘ghostly green bullets’ they fired in their favourite video game.

One of the leading Latin American writers of her generation, Nona Fernández effortlessly builds a choral and constantly shifting image of young life in the waning years of the dictatorship. Prose of astonishing beauty is intricately layered to hypnotic, mesmerising effect, as Fernández summons the collective memory of a generation, rescuing felt truth from the oblivion of official history.

‘Space Invaders reads like a nightmare wrapped inside a campfire tale; a chorus of whispers heard from a dark room in the dead of night, each one a transmission from Chile’s hell.’ Rob Doyle

‘Perhaps the hippest Chilean writer since Roberto Bolaño (with whom she shares a translator) . . . Short, stylish, and engrossing, this is a stellar book from a writer who should be on your radar.’ GQ

‘An absolute gem – a book of uncommon depth, precise in its language, unsparing in its emotion, unflinching as it evokes a past many would prefer to forget. Within the canon of literature chronicling Pinochet’s Chile, Nona Fernández’s Space Invaders is truly unique.’ Daniel Alarcón

‘Fernández’s outstanding novel explores the nature of memory and dreams, and how after a certain point, they become indistinguishable.’ Publishers Weekly

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