Mauro Javier Cárdenas
The Revolutionaries Try Again / A Novel
Out Now from Coffee House Press and Literatura Random House
Antonio, a Stanford graduate and expat living in San Francisco, wants to believe he’s left Ecuador’s poverty and corruption behind for good, but when his hometown Guayaquil’s extravagant ex-mayor Abdalá ‘El Loco’ Bucaram announces a third attempt at the presidency, he’s compelled to return. There he reunites with the clever childhood friends he’s not seen since they graduated ten years earlier from an elite Jesuit high school. Now petty bureaucrats, entrepreneurs, security guards, satirical radio hosts, brothers and sons of the lost and disappeared, they will need to reckon with their shared past if they hope to stop El Loco.
Excerpts in Conjunctions, Bomb, Guernica, and Bomb.
Also: Brief history of Ecuador & Playlist tied to The Revolutionaries Try Again, an essay at The Millions on writing it and at Necessary Fiction on researching it.
The critical reception to The Revolutionaries Try Again has been incredible!
"This debut novel, 12 years in the writing, is a welcome example of how fiction can have urgency, how it’s still one of the greatest forms for tackling the incommensurable. This is an original, insubordinate novel, like his grammar, like his syntax, but fabulously, compellingly readable." New York Times Book Review
"This is a book at once haunting and haunted, rippling with the ghosts of Latin America’s atrocities, disappointments, colonial strangleholds, insurgencies and fierce hopes, a book at once specific to Ecuador’s historical realities and bursting with significance to our whole hemisphere." San Francisco Chronicle
"Then came The Revolutionaries Try Again, a high-octane, high modernist debut novel from the gifted, fleet Mauro Javier Cardenas." Harper's Magazine