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Ballad of Johnny Sosa (Paperback)

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The Ballad of Johnny Sosa (Paperback)

Mario Delgado Aparain

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ISBN 13: 978-1-58567-604-0
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Translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Hampsten

Published for the first time in English, a splendid novel by one of Uruguay's top literary authors, whose "writing is reminiscent of the virtuous economy of language in Garca Mrquez's short novels" El Pas

Published now in 10 countries to extraordinary acclaim and available in English for the first time, The Ballad of Johnny Sosa depicts an ordinary man trying to live out his dreams in a dreary provincial town in central Uruguay while suffocating in the tentacles of military oppression. Every night, Johnny Sosa, a poor, young, black musician, sings melancholic soul music in the small bar in the town's brothel, dreaming of a life beyond his confining world and for a few hours each day, ignoring the secretive and oppressive military regime a dictatorship not so much seen as felt-that has taken over his country.

He attracts the attention of the local military leader who uses Sosa for his own political ends, and, for a while, Johnny is permitted to sing and to imagine that he will perform at the national festival, where discovery and success may await him. But, as his friends mysteriously start to disappear, Johnny begins to realize the price of his dream, and must decide if he will pay it.

The stripped-down quality of its prose, deft ironies, and tragi-comic insight into the strength of human nature under adversity all contribute to the prolonged impact of this penetrating novel from a country now reclaiming its literary tradition. Masterfully subversive and utterly brilliant, The Ballad of Johnny Sosa is a finely honed parable on human dignity.

"The Ballad of Johnny Sosa has earned a place among the short masterpieces for which contemporary Latin American literature has become known. The book has the makings of a classic, a judgment borne out by its success in Europe. Keep your eyes on the book and its author. Mario Delgado Aparan is on the brink of a brilliant literary career. El Pas

"A small jewel from a country in which gradually literature is blossoming after the devastation of tyranny." Wochenpost

Mario Delgado Aparan is a novelist and short story writer as well as a journalist and university professor. He first became famous in Uruguay for his short stories, which depicted the contrast between country and city life of Uruguayans. He lives in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he was head of the Department of Culture for several years and now again works.

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