Los caídos
Carlos Manuel Álvarez

NOVEL | 2018 | 136 pages

Los caídos tells the moral decomposition and the radical estrangement between the members of a Cuban family that has to nevertheless inhabit the same physical space. The spiritual corruption of a country immersed in hunger and deprivation acts as a detonator that leads the communist father, the seriously ill mother, the resigned daughter and the resentful son to become unrecognizable enemies, even though none of them really understand how and why it has happened.

A fresh and contemporary look at contemporary Cuban with all its contradictions.

RIGHTS: spanish SEXTO PISO I english( (uk) FITZCARRALDO I english (usa) GRAYWOLF PRESS I italian SUR I french BUCHET & CHASTEL I bulgarian JANET 45

In such a small amount of pages, The Fallen is abundantly expressive yet leaves so much unsaid…The Fallen is the story of a family; not a romanticized saga, but a tale of unconditional love and friendship. Through careful and subtle prose, the strain and suffering in every voice emerges loud and clear. Carlos Manuel Álvarez has painted a powerful, burning image of illness, isolation and harrowing rancour.
— Laila Obeidat, The London Magazine
Los caídos does not rise from the ruins it doesn’t inscribe itself in any mausoleum or prepare any future. Through the story of a family, narrated in four voices, it plunges us in the labyrinth of the island, without falling into common clichés, propagandist ideas or anti-establishment reactions. It is a drama that has no time for regret. Its pristine and masterful writing covers the tense and rough reality of four survivors of a complex existence.
— Diego Rabasa, editor at Sexto Piso
Cuban author Carlos Manuel Álvarez already proved his talent in La tribu, his first book of journalistic pieces. Despite his youth, Álvarez has an ancient voice, tightened over the gorges of poetry and the result is even more astonishing, devoid of any desire to please readers with unnecessary prances. n The Fallen every voice has its own music of sadness, its own rhythms of isolation, its own lexicon of defeat. This novel is a subtle masterpiece.
— Juan Cárdenas, Babelia, El País
A style that is concentrated on itself; reflexive and with a great control of the psychological nuances and narrative texture, with few temporary marks and without the pop background sound that we are accustomned to. These are the greatest achievements of this remarkable novel… Los caídos is not a frontal and explicit critic of the Cuban regime; it is more interested in questioning how the ideology of a big project works in the daily life of a family, how the daily miseries manage to reveal the social “truth” of a regime.
— Edmundo Paz Soldán, La Tercera
Los caídos is a quaking bog of sadness mixed with a vocation of impossible justice.
— Francisco Solano, Babelia, El País
Los caídos is a chronicle about Cuba where, contrary to journalism, you have to look inside to see what is going on outside. The family that it portrays is at the same time metaphor of the Cuban society of a particular time (or the confrontation of two different periods) and a reflexion of what is happening on the streets… These well-crafted characters deserve attention and love; this natural prose that is so appropriate to the story must be savored slowly.
— Un libro al día
Carlos Manuel Álvarez does not turn to the many clichés that have emerged after the drift of the Castro regime and its effects in Cuban life. His testimony is full of truth and human dimension.
— Diario del Ferrol
From the first pages, one realizes that one is in the presence of pure literature. We know, at the beginning of the book, that the mother has not fallen, but that she will, for it is announced, and when it happens, we will have all fallen alongside her.
— Penélope Córdova, Gatopardo
A beautiful and painful novel that demonstrates the power of fiction to pursue the unutterable.
— Alejandro Zambra
A war foretold that never takes place. A death foretold that never takes place. And in the middle of this is the inevitable collapse of a family and a country. The Fallen is a subtle, intelligent and profoundly moving novel which sketches, in elegant and thoughtful prose, a rarely seen Cuban landscape.
— Alia Trabucco Zerán
The best in Latin American literature is here: with the precocious skill of someone who is a paragon of narrative resources and sensitivity, Carlos Manuel Álvarez vividly portrays the only identity that really matters: not national, but human. The Fallen is a museum of solitude and of the cracks separating our inner world from the one we live in and from those with whom we coexist.
— Emiliano Monge
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BY CARLOS MANUEL ÁLVAREZ: Los caídos NOVEL, 2018 La tribu NON-FICTION, 2017 La tarde de los sucesos definitivos SHORT STORIES, 2014