Bleeding into Fiction: Cultural Identity, Memory, and Language
My intention is to continue investigating and writing the story of my paternal grandfather's exodus from Beirut as a teenager in 1919 and his subsequent journey from Paris to Guatemala in the 1920s, but concentrating especially on his kidnapping by the Guatemalan guerrilla in 1967, in the early stages of what would become a 36 year-long Civil War between the military and guerrilla forces. As always when I write, a small part of my family story will be played out before a much larger backdrop, and something very real will bleed into fiction.
Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City in 1971. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of ten, went to school in Florida, studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach literature during eight years at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Although bilingual, Halfon chooses to write in Spanish and has published fourteen books of fiction. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on continuing the story of The Polish Boxer, his most translated book, now in more than ten languages. His latest novel, Mourning, was awarded the Premio de Las Librerías de Navarra (Spain), the Prix du meilleur livre étranger (France), the Edward Lewis Wallant Award (US), and the International Latino Book Award (US). In 2015, he was given in France the Prix Roger Caillois de littérature latino-américaine. And in 2018, he was awarded Guatemala’s National Prize in Literature, his country’s highest literary honor.