Glaxo

Translated by Samuel Rutter

In a derelict town in the Argentine pampa, a decades-old betrayal simmers among a group of friends. One, a barber, returns from serving time for a crime he didn’t commit; another, a policeman with ties to the military regime, discovers his wife’s infidelity; a third lays dying. And an American missionary has been killed.

But what happened among these men?

Spinning through a series of voices and timelines, Hernán Ronsino’s Glaxo reveals a chilling story of four boyhood friends who grow to become adults embroiled in illicit romances, government death squads, and, ultimately, murder. Around them, the town falls apart. The “primitive calm” is punctuated only by the sound of trains—a sound “so shrill it hurts your teeth,” and loud enough, we learn, to overwhelm the pop of gunfire.

Both an austere, pastoral drama and a suspenseful whodunit, Glaxo crackles with tension and mystery. And it marks the stunning English-language debut of a major Latin American writer.

 

HERNÁN RONSINO was born in Chivilcoy, a small town in Argentina’s pampa, in 1975, and moved to Buenos Aires for his studies. The author of three novels and one short story collection, Ronsino is also an anthropologist and professor at the University of Buenos Aires.

SAMUEL RUTTER is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia. He has translated authors including Carlos Labbé, Daniel Sada and Juan Marsé and in 2015 he was awarded a PEN Translates grant. He is currently a PhD candidate in Spanish & Latin American Studies at the University of Melbourne.

“A spectral crime story where history, far from something abstract, is embodied within a terribly tangible landscape plagued by memory and guilt…Full of stirring images, the novel brilliantly portrays the painful isolation of a world where the possibility of justice has been replaced by the senseless circulation of vengeance…Ronsino [is] one of the great stylists of the present generation.” — BOMB

“A story of lost innocence and betrayal set against Argentina’s plains, Glaxo owes its aesthetic to the Western film…Evocative and full, yet suspenseful…Abrupt shifts in time and perspective…turn a story about infidelity and murder into something larger.” — Globe and Mail

“Set in a dusty, stagnating town in Argentina, the novel cautiously circles around a decades-old murder, a vanished wife, and past political crimes…Allusions to John Sturges’s Last Train From Gun Hill hint at the vengeance, or justice, to come in this sly Latin American Western.” — The Millions

“Subtle, closely observed…The novel packs a mean, memorable punch.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

“[A] brooding novel set on the windswept edge of the pampas…Allusive and reserved, as if peeking out at the scene of the crime from behind drawn curtains…An atmospheric mystery that is never obvious.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Glaxo withholds while it testifies, like a knot tightening. Ronsino replaces the dread his characters feel with another type of horror…the real and extensive violations in Argentina’s recent history.” — Propeller

Praise for Hernán Ronsino

“One of the strongest storytellers of his generation.” — Matias Capelli, Los in Rocks (Argentina)

“A young Argentine novelist who was chosen by the Guadalajara International Book Fair as one of the 25 most interesting writers in Latin America…His writing offers a totally original vision.” — La Pulseada (Argentina)

“Glaxo revolves around conflicts that may seem small, but are linked to grand emotions and experiences: envy, sex, crimes of passion, and betrayal.” — Pagina 12 (Argentina)

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