At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón
Recommended by Kris Jorgensen
Adult Services Librarian, Vista Branch
With the recent death of Gabriel García Márquez, I’ve been thinking about his representation of South America. This novel is set in an unnamed South American country after the guerrilla wars that took place across much of Latin America in the 1980s and ’90s. Nelson is a young actor who becomes part of a guerrilla theatre troupe from the war days called Diciembre that reunites in order to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the play The Idiot President. The playwright, Henry Nuñez, who was incarcerated by the state after a performance, agrees to lead a reunion tour around the countryside. The plot is unfolded slowly by an enigmatic narrator as the theatre troupe rehearses, tours, and is forced to make some important decisions. The author gives us a novel about performance and identity as well as portraying a country recently released from the grip of war. There are glimpses of García Márquez’s South America here, but Mr. Alarcón gives us a more contemporary view.