Cowboy Graves is an unexpected treasure from the vault of a revolutionary talent. Roberto Bolaño’s boundless imagination and seemingly inexhaustible gift for shaping the chaos of his reality into fiction is unmistakable in these three novellas. In “Cowboy Graves,” Arturo Belano—Bolaño’s alter ego—returns to Chile after the coup to fight with his comrades for socialism. “French Comedy of Horrors,” takes the reader to French Guiana on the night after an eclipse where a seventeen year old answers a pay phone and finds himself recruited into the Clandestine Surrealist Group, a secret society of artists based in the sewers of Paris. And in “Fatherland,” a young poet reckons with the fascist overthrow of his country, as the woman he is obsessed with disappears in the ensuing violence and a Third Reich fighter plane mysteriously writes her poetry in the sky overhead.
These three fiercely original tales bear the signatures of Bolaño’s extraordinary body of work, echoing the strange characters and uncanny scenes of his triumphs, while deepening our reverence for his gifts.