By Claudia Salazar Jiménez
Translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer
An award-winning debut novel of politics, desire and pain by Peruvian author Claudia Salazar Jiménez. The lives of three women intertwine and are ripped apart during what's known as "the time of fear" in Peruvian history, when the Shining Path rebel insurgency was at its peak.
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Blood of the Dawn follows three women whose lives intertwine and are ripped apart during what's known as "the time of fear" in Peruvian history when the Shining Path militant insurgency was at its peak. The novel rewrites the conflict through the voice of women, activating memory through a mixture of politics, desire, and pain in a lucid and brutal prose.
Claudia Salazar Jiménez, born in Lima, Peru, in 1976, one of the most recognized Peruvian writers of her generation, is also a literary critic, professor, cultural manager, and the founder of the literary journal Fuegos de Arena. She studied literature at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and holds a PhD from NYU. She edited the anthologies Escribir en Nueva York (2014) about Hispanic American narrators and Voces para Lilith (2011) on contemporary South American women writers and is also the founder and director of PERUFEST, the first Peruvian cinema festival in New York. Her debut novel Blood of the Dawn was awarded the Las Americas Narrative Prize in 2014. She also received the TUMI-USA Award in 2015. Her most recent publication is the collection of short stories Coordenadas Temporales (2016). She is currently based in New York City.
“A bold, breviloquent debut novel whose polyhedral story line plunges sans parachute into the bloody chamber of political violence unleashed during the massacre-ridden years in Peru.” —Valerie Miles, The New York Times
“With this courageous and necessary novel, Salazar Jiménez refuses to let the stories of the victims of ‘the time of fear’ get away. The violence that permeated Peru in the 1980s and 1990s is unspeakable, which is exactly why it needs to be spoken. That’s what Salazar Jiménez does in this beautiful, horrifying work of art.” —Michael Schaub, NPR Books
“Jiménez’s prose is clear-cut and doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of the insurgence and the effects it had on the people of Peru. When this debut novel was first published in Spanish, Jiménez received the 2014 Americas Narrative Prize. Read it, and you’ll see why.” —Cassidy Foust, Literary Hub
“Fiery and political debut.” —Publishers Weekly
“Blood of the Dawn is a delirious, harrowing onslaught of mixed allegiances and betrayals, punctuated with machete chops and the machine gun’s staccato call.” —Kenneth Rupp, The Habitat
“Jiménez’s frequent shifts in scene, tense, and perspective reflect the relentless insecurity wrought by Shining Path’s guerrilla tactics and terrorist acts… English-speaking readers will appreciate the ways in which Bryer’s translation preserves each woman’s unique cadence, reminding us that tragedy is experienced on a individual level, even as it ravages an entire country.” —The Arkansas International
“A brief novel, but an intense one, whose every word flexes with a taut power.” — Josh is Writing blog
“A hair-raising look at violence, women and Perú. Highly recommended. And visceral.” —Santiago Roncagliolo
“Among the best books of the year . . . Her use of short paragraphs, quotes, photography, testimony and the different voices, turn this death tale into a recovery of the women’s experience. Women are the ones who star in this sum of voices like a tragic chorus.” —Julio Ortega, El Boomeran
“It’s an original novel. Beyond the polemic topic, Blood of the Dawn only talks about literature. . . . Lyrical and cinematographic. If there are certain things that can’t be (shouldn’t be) told with words, we cannot silence them either.” —Sophie Canal
“This may one be the first novels to talk about this issue from the women’s point of view, and in a very effective way. . . . Blood of the Dawn is an original addition to the abundant literature on this difficult and polemic episode of our recent history.” —Javier Agreda, La República
“This incendiary novel manages to pair an honest look at a social and national trauma with an intimate portrayal of the personal tragedies within.” —Librairie Drawn & Quarterly
“Composed of very brief and stylistically varied sections—confession, interrogation, fever dream, prose poem—Blood of the Dawn rapidly switches between narratives, creating a sort of social collage.” —Ratik Asokan, The Nation