A beautiful follow up to The Polish Boxer. The personal is political for Halfon, and his reflections on family, memory, and religion makes this book a truly powerful short read. It’s that rare kind of novel that’s smart but entertaining enough to read in one sitting. Which is what I did, kind of by accident. Couldn’t put it down!— Nick
Exhausted after a 15-hour flight, two young Guatemalans wait at baggage claim at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. They have come to attend their younger sister's wedding to an Orthodox Jewish Brooklynite in Jerusalem. While many look to Israel as the promised land, the narrator of this book, who considers himself "a Jew, sometimes," is surprised to encounter the country with increasing uneasiness. His risky meeting with a sexy Israeli, whom he had met years earlier in Guatemala, forces him to confront his own family history. An autobiographical novel in a tone as simple as it is lyrical, "Monasterio "is a moving and intense journey to the depths of identity, religious intolerance, limits, and the inventions man uses to understand himself and survive.
About the Author
Eduardo Halfon is a Guatemalan writer who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. He is the author of "El boxeador polaco," "De cabo roto," "Elocuencias de un tartamudo," "Manana nunca lo hablamos," and "Saturno." He lives in Nebraska."