The Last Days of El Comandante

9781477316573: Paperback
Release Date: 25th February 2020

Dimensions: 127 x 203

Number of Pages: 224

University of Texas Press

The Last Days of El Comandante

Paperback / £14.99
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

​President Hugo Chávez’s cancer looms large over Venezuela in 2012, casting a shadow of uncertainty and creating an atmosphere of secrets, lies, and upheaval across the country. This literary thriller follows the connected lives of several Caracas neighbors consumed by the turmoil surrounding the Venezuelan president’s impending death.

Retired oncologist Miguel Sanabria, seeing the increasingly combustible world around him, feels on constant edge. He finds himself at odds with his wife, an extreme anti-Chavista, and his radical Chavista brother. These feelings grow when his nephew asks him to undertake the perilous task of hiding cell-phone footage of Chávez in Cuba. Fredy Lecuna, an unemployed journalist, takes a job writing a book about Chávez’s condition, which requires him to leave for Cuba while his landlord attempts to kick his wife and son out of their apartment. Nine-year-old María, long confined to an apartment with a neurotic mother intensely fearful of the city’s violence, finds her only contact with the outside world through a boy she messages online.

Alberto Barrera Tyszka is a poet, novelist, television screenwriter, and journalist. He is the author of three short story collections, four poetry collections, four novels, and three nonfiction books, including a best-selling and critically acclaimed biography of Hugo Chávez.

Rosalind Harvey has translated books by authors including Enrique Vila-Matas, Héctor Abad, Elvira Navarro, Guadalupe Nettel and Juan Pablo Villalobos.
Jessie Mendez Sayer is a literary translator, editor, and former literary scout.​

"Barrera Tyszka is one of the most important novelists of his generation."

Albinson Linares, The New York Times


"The Last Days of El Comandante stands out for its courage in telling--from the daily experiences of a group of characters--the Venezuelan reality in a less than accommodating way, and for the author's ability to do so with an absorbing narrative rhythm that reflects the anguish and complications of lives conditioned by the hysteria and tensions of a country keeping watch over its charismatic leader."

Juan Marsé, Premio Tusquets de Novela