Monasterio
Eduardo Halfon

NOVEL | 2014 | 120 pages

Continuing on the search he embarked upon in El boxeador polaco and La pirueta a narrator that may or may not be Eduardo Halfon (reluctantly) travels this time to Tel Aviv for his sister’s marriage to an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn. In a city that is hostile from the moment he sets foot in it, Eduardo runs into an Israeli girl he once met in Guatemala, and as the two reconnect in unexpected circumstances, Eduardo struggles to understand his Jewish roots continuing on his pursuit to define his own identity.

RIGHTS: spanish LIBROS DEL ASTEROIDE | french LA TABLE RONDE | german HANSER | english (usa) BELLEVUE LITERARY PRESS | japanese HAKUSUISHA | dutch WERELDBIBLIOTHEEK | croatian  FRAKTURA

A moving, reflective, and humbly resounding work of fiction. . . . Monastery, with its beautiful prose, vibrant imagery, and singular outlook on the abundance of individual and shared experience, deserves to win this year’s Best Translated Book Award. As an ambassador of both worldly wonder and sublime storytelling, Eduardo Halfon’s Monastery, despite its brevity, is truly a marvel.
— Best Translated Book Award Longlist citation
Zip[s] us around the world from Tel Aviv to rural Guatemala to New York, offering surprise and revelation at every turn.
— Reader's Digest
Intelligent and authentic.
— Jewish Book Council
Monastery, which looks at Guatemala and the world from the divided perspective of a Jew and Guatemalan [displays] a constantly surprising sensitivity, even tenderness toward both worlds and the ways they resonate even when they appear deaf to each other. . . . In the admirable translation by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn, the idiomatic, contemporary American English voice comes across as innate to this cosmopolitan narrator, without losing all its Spanishness.
— The Common
Call it a confirmation bias. Everywhere I turned this year, I saw a new expression of Arab Jewish identity. The revival seems to be happening across all fields—literature, food, music—yet somehow nobody’s talking about it. . . . Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered Eduardo Halfon’s new novel, Monastery, in which the conflicted, tragicomic protagonist denies his Arab identity when talking to certain Jews, and his Jewish identity when talking to certain Arabs.
— Forward
Halfon gives voice to a lesser-known sector of the Jewish diaspora, reminding us in the process of the ways in which identity is both fluid and immutable.
— Publishers Weekly
[A] sly, quietly penetrating account of life on the road. . . . One of [Halfon’s] special attributes is never forcing meaning on his experiences. . . . But he’s also great at reversing our initial impressions of people and places. . . . A rising star among Latin writers, Halfon is a lively traveling companion.
— Kirkus Reviews
In this enigmatic follow-up to Halfon’s lovely The Polish Boxer, readers follow the same narrator as he journeys around Central America, Europe, and Israel. . . . As if slowly filling in negative space, Halfon gradually gives shape to the uneasy relationship he has with his own allegiances and heritage as well as the outsider position he occupies wherever he goes, even within his own country. A subtle work that defies easy categorization in the best way.
— Booklist
If I were still a bookseller, I’d happily place [Monastery] in your hands and say, ‘You’ve got to read this!
— Shelf Awareness for Readers
BY EDUARDO HALFON:

Duelo
NOVEL, 2017
Signor Hoffman
STORIES, 2015
Monasterio
NOVEL, 2014
Los tragadores de cosas bonitas
PICTURE BOOK, 2013
Mañana nunca lo hablamos
STORIES, 2011
La pirueta
NOVEL, 2010
El boxeador polaco
SHORT STORIES, 2008
Siete minutos de desasosiego
STORIES, 2007
El angel literario
NOVEL, 2005
Esto no es una pipa, Saturno
NOVEL, 2004
De cabo roto
STORIES, 2004