Venezuelan author’s controversial novel available in English for first time on Sampsoniaway.org
“In Buenos Aires it’s called mist. In Mexico City they call it smog. When the wind from the Sahara blows and covers Santa Cruz de Tenerife, the islanders know it as haze. In Caracas there was soot, and I was moving through smoke and ashes on the day I went out to kill the president.”—Israel Centeno, The Conspiracy (El Complot)
Israel Centeno’s third novel, The Conspiracy,was published in 2002, shortly after the alleged coup against Hugo Chávez. The novel was interpreted by Chávez and his revolutionary party as an affront to their myth of origin; they launched an escalating campaign of harassment, threats, accusations, and violence against Centeno, ultimately forcing him into exile. On May 1, 2014, Sampsonia Way Publishing will release Centeno’s The Conspiracy in a new English translation by Guillermo Parra.
Acclaim for The Conspiracy
“His fleshy, psychologically penetrating work is one of the great undiscovered literary experiences of Latin America.” – Aurelio Major, Co-founding editor of Granta en Español
“To open The Conspiracy is to be thrown off balance in the pulsating heart of a dangerous world of subterfuge and revolution, of idealism and bitter realism, where comradeship is as intense as betrayal. The alleyways and hideaways of Israel Centeno’s Venezuela are as real and visceral as the streets of Pasolini’s Rome.” – Dermot Bolger, Author of The Journey Home
“Centeno’s novel brings proof that fiction, wielded by expert hands, can conjure up the hidden machinery behind the alluring façade of utopian revolutions. A revolutionary novel on revolution’s deadly dead ends.” —Ana Nuño, author of Las Voces Encontradas
“A rare voice from Venezuela. In this fever dream of a novel shot through with dark humor, Centeno grapples with the fallout from generations of violence and corruption.” – Natasha Wimmer, translator of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666
Israel Centeno: The Conspiracy
Publisher: Sampsonia Way Publishing
Release date: May 1, 2014
Available from SampsoniaWay.org
About Israel Centeno
Israel Centeno (Caracas, 1958) has published 14 books including novels, short stories, and poetry. He is regarded as one of the most important Venezuelan literary figures of the last 50 years. He has won numerous awards including Spain’s Federico Garcia Lorca Award and Venezuela’s National Council of Culture Award (1991).
Through his narratives, he conveys a sense of the many shortcomings of a society that feeds on grandiose historical myths that lead to poverty and violence. His fiction also accommodates his experience of exile. His most outstanding work to date is found in the novels Calletania (Monte Ávila, 1992; Periférica 2010), Exilio en Bowery (Troya, 1998; Nuevo Espacio, New Jersey 2000), El Complot (Alfadil, 2002; Sampsonia Way, 2014), Bajo las hojas (Alfaguara, 2010), and Según pasan los años (Sudaqia, 2013). He has published two books of short stories: El rabo del Diablo y otros cuentos (Eclepsidra, 1993) and Criaturas de la noche (Alfaguara, 2000, 2011). Centeno currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and two daughters, where he has been Exiled Writer -in-Residence at City of Asylum.
About Sampsonia Way Publishing
Sampsonia Way Publishing is the publishing arm of City of Asylum Pittsburgh. It is home to the work of exiled and endangered writers around the world; it publishes banned books in translation and anthologies of contemporary writing from countries where free speech is under threat, and it serves a global community of readers and writes through the online literary journal, SampsoniaWay.org.
About City of Asylum
City of Asylum provides long-term sanctuary to endangered literary writers, along with a broad range of residencies and programs in a community setting to encourage cross-cultural exchange. City of Asylum also anchors economic development by transforming blighted properties into homes for programs and energizing public spaces through public art with text-based components. Cityofasylumpittsburgh.org