The Distance Between Us
The Distance Between Us
Translated by Fionn Petch
If I succeed in understanding who he was before I was born, perhaps I will be able to understand who I am now that he is dead…
In this sprawling family saga stretching across Latin America, a son embarks on a journey to understand his complex relationship with his father and how it shaped the man he is today. Recalling Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits, the renowned journalist and writer Renato Cisneros probes deep into his own family history to try and come to terms with his father, General Luis Federico ‘The Gaucho’ Cisneros, a leading, controversial figure in the oppressive military regime that held power in Peru during the 1970s and 1980s, a tortuous period marked by state-sanctioned terrorism and the rise of the Shining Path.
Selling over 35,000 copies in Peru alone, The Distance Between Us is at once excruciating in its honesty and deeply moving in its universal relevance. Winner of the Prix Transfuge du Meilleur Roman de Littérature Hispanique 2017, finalist for the Vargas Llosa Biannual Award and longlisted for the Prix Médicis Étranger 2017, it is now available in English for the first time.
‘This is a book to set alongside Philip Roth’s Patrimony, Héctor Abad’s Oblivion, Paul Auster’s The Invention of Solitude, Martin Amis’s Experience, Albert Camus’ The First Man, and of course Kafka’s Letter to His Father.’ Thierry Clermont, Le Figaro
‘This is an impressive book. In writing it the author demonstrates great talent, as well as great courage.’ Mario Vargas Llosa
‘No one that reads this book will be able to look at their family in the same way again.’ Gabriela Wiener
‘An extraordinary family story... Renato Cisneros delivers here the captivating narrative of a strange and disturbing filiation. A loving and lucid puzzle.’ Le Monde (France)
‘People should read this novel to learn more about themselves.’ Jorge Edwards
‘Cisneros is a phenomenon in Latin America today.’ Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, El País (Spain)
‘A book so intelligent and moving, you wish it would never end.’ Libération (France)
‘The Distance Between Us is the story of a villain told from love. It dwells in the humanity hidden behind the themes left by war. It also narrates that other war: the one which all of us wage against our parents to become the persons we are.’ Santiago Roncagliolo
‘The Distance Between Us goes far and appeals to the reader exactly because there is so little distance between what is written and what was lived.’ Alberto Fuguet
‘“Just as a father is never prepared to bury his son, a son is never prepared to dig up his father”(...) It is within this tension that this magnificent novel lies, full of drama and suspense from the very first page.’ Edmundo Paz Soldán