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Book Title


Constellations of Memory
Author 1
Nona Fernández; Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer
Voyager begins with Nona Fernández accompanying her elderly mother to the doctor to seek an explanation for her frequent falls and inability to remember what preceded them. As the author stares at the image of her mother’s brain scan, it occurs to her that the electrical signals shown on the screen resemble the night sky.
Inspired by the mission of the Voyager spacecrafts, Fernández begins a process of observation and documentation. She describes a recent trip to the remote Atacama desert—one of the world’s best spots for astronomical observation—to join people who, like her, hope to dispel the mythologized history of Chile’s new democracy. Weaving together the story of her mother’s illness with the story of her country and of the cosmos itself, Fernández braids astronomy and astrology, neuroscience and memory, family history and national history into this brief but intensely imagined autobiographical essay. Scrutinizing the mechanisms of personal, civic, and stellar memory, she insists on preserving the truth of what we’ve seen and experienced, and finding ways to recover what people and countries often prefer to forget.
In Voyager, Fernández finds a new container for her profound and surreal reckonings with the past. One of the great chroniclers of our day, she has written a rich and resonant book.

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A startling book-length essay, at once grand and intimate, from National Book Award finalist Nona Fernández

About the Author

Nona  Fernandez
Credit: Daniel Corvillo´n
Nona Fernández was born in Santiago, Chile. She is an actress and writer, and has published two plays, a collection of short stories, and six novels, including Space Invaders and The Twilight Zone, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.
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Natasha Wimmer is the translator of nine books by Roberto Bolaño, including The Savage Detectives and 2666. Her most recent translations are Nona Fernández’s The Twilight Zone and Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.
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  • “Together, Space InvadersThe Twilight Zone, and Voyager function like the twin probes collecting information with every sensor at their disposal, while simultaneously telling a story that says: This is who we were; this is what it was like. To record your experiences and tell your story, regardless of scale, serves as a reckoning with a past that so many have tried to bury.”—Amanda Paige Inman, The Nation
  • “’Who are we? Where are we going? Where do we come from?’ In finding poetic answers to those queries, Fernández documents the history of her homeland and aids her ailing mother (whose epilepsy diagnosis brought additional complications), all while musing on the intricacies of the universe. The result is a moving reflection that’s scientific, cerebral, and spiritual.”Publishers Weekly 
  • “[Fernández] is an expert at weaving seemingly disparate topics together, at finding their common threads. . . . Wherever this great writer (and translator!) wants to take us, I’m there.”—Katie Yee, Literary Hub
  • “In precise yet elegant prose that shirks melodrama, Fernández renders crisp and lingering images that orient us to the changing surroundings of the book’s steady orbit. . . . She circumvents the oversentimentality that is so often the downfall of stories about family and memory, by constructing a scope that expands and contracts like breath in the body.”—Claire Calderón, Los Angeles Review of Books 
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