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A Last Supper of Queer Apostles by Pedro Lemebel
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A Last Supper of Queer Apostles

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A Last Supper of Queer Apostles by Pedro Lemebel
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May 28, 2024 | ISBN 9780593791882 | 473 Minutes

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    May 28, 2024 | ISBN 9780143137085

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  • May 28, 2024 | ISBN 9780593791882

    473 Minutes

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Praise

“This intoxicating and profane selection has been rendered into English with eye-bulging frankness by Gwendolyn Harper. Each brief ‘crónica’ . . . is a mini-revelation. Sexy, political and deeply humane, these coiled essays demonstrate clearly the perennial importance of radical speech acts. . . . Harper excels at capturing the spirit of source material often considered untranslatable. Significant lexical inspiration is required to express Lemebel’s arch, rat-a-tat punning, while ninja syntax skills are needed to re-create the fragments and convolutions of his sentences. What she makes of his crónicas retains the eccentricities of the original while being quite exquisite in English. . . . We all owe Penguin Classics a round of shots for A Last Supper of Queer Apostles.” —The Washington Post

“An extraordinary—a necessary—voice in world literature . . . Lemebel’s essays . . . are incantatory and mutant . . . mordant and at times feverish . . . florid to the point of camp . . . [a] mix of tenderness and subversion. . . . Part memoir, part reportage, part fantasia, they narrate history as it was experienced underground. . . . Lemebel wages a guerilla reckoning . . . in radically queer prose.” —4Columns

“A literary explosion . . . Lemebel’s writing is beautiful and vicious, and Harper has done a brilliant job translating it, while keeping it clear that Lemebel was not interested in being translated into something palatable for the English-speaking ears. I hope that, with this collection, the anglophone world will continue to expand its interest in world literature; not just the foreign, but the queer, the poor, the almost untranslatable.” —The London Magazine

“What a joy for English readers to at last meet this humanist provocateur who celebrates and memorializes queer lives in a fascist state with fire, love, and a tireless spirit of play.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Lemebel] speaks brilliantly for a difference that refuses to disappear.” —Garth Greenwell, The New Yorker

“This edition has been curated with care, and edited with great attention to detail. . . . The translation is sterling.” —The Leftovers

“Lemebel doesn’t have to write poetry to be the best poet of my generation. . . . No one goes deeper than Lemebel. And also, as if that weren’t enough, Lemebel is courageous. That is, he knows how to open his eyes in darkness, in those territories where no one dares enter. . . . When everyone who has treated him like dirt is lost in the cesspit or in nothingness, Pedro Lemebel will still be a star.” Roberto Bolaño, author of 2666 and The Savage Detectives

“If the world were just, Pedro Lemebel would take his rightful place on the throne of literary royalty; although I’m certain he’d reject something as anti-democratic as monarchy. A Last Supper of Queer Apostles cements his place in the canon—the literary one, the queer one, the Chilean one, the Latin American one, the human one. This collection of devastatingly gay and unabashedly political essays is, in fact, a quiver of exquisite arrows, each dipped in the blood and bile of love and hate, the only tincture with the viscosity of truth. On every one of these electrifying and gorgeously written pages—brilliantly translated by Gwendolyn Harper—Lemebel spills anti-fascist tea in dizzying prose that spins us ever closer to the collective liberation he was seeking. All hail this queen.” —Alejandro Varela, National Book Award finalist for The Town of Babylon

“Astonishing and tender and quite outrageous. I’m so glad I discovered Lemebel’s work—what a powerful, mould-breaking voice!” —Tomasz Jedrowski, author of Swimming in the Dark

“[Lemebel’s writing is] provocative, strange, very Chilean, cantankerous, bitter, funny, sentimental, sharp, elegant, entirely legible and at the same time complex. . . . His work was forged in the night, in the barrio, in life and not in literature. . . . His books changed lives.” —Alejandro Zambra, author of Multiple Choice and Chilean Poet

“The summary effect of reading Pedro Lemebel’s shattering indictment of the American-backed Pinochet regime, of being faced with the caustic rage embedded in it, corresponds to standing transfixed in front of Picasso’s Guernica, the lightbulb eyeball glaring down at the carnage below, the ocular shriek a fitting match for the illuminating text of A Last Supper of Queer Apostles, with its story of death and resurrection.” —James McCourt, author of Time Remaining and Queer Street

“Lemebel said he writes from difference, and my god, what a difference. His writing is everything except boring—courageous, beautiful, vile, glorious, provocative, comforting, angry, loving, exquisite, and full of delicious venom. Reading a great writer makes life better. Reading Lemebel makes me want to live better.” —Rabih Alamaddine, author of An Unnecessary Woman

“Reading these powerfully intimate essays makes me feel like I know Pedro Lemebel. His friends are now my friends. The clothes they wore, the way the danced, the way they died—all this will live on in my memory as if I’d always had them in my life.” —Joe Westmoreland, author of Tramps Like Us

“A remarkable and radically uncompromising chronicle of queer life in anti-queer times . . . Gwendolyn Harper’s translation is astoundingly good. It allowed me to feel that I was being spoken to directly. And to know that Lemebel’s personality, his poetry, his love, his grief, his anger, his generosity, his voice, are all still with us, and still true. Pedro Lemebel is alive! And I am in love.” —Keith Ridgway, author of Hawthorn and Child and A Shock
 
“A truly astonishing body of work . . . Images so alarming and original leap from every page, you come to believe that if you were to tear a page it would bleed scarlet. . . . The writings of a curbside saint laboring serene under a weight of genius.” —Lauren John Joseph, author of At Certain Points We Touch

“This book reminds me of Jean Genet, of the late great Juan Goytisolo—of everything that I love about truly queer writing. It shares their rage, their laughter, their fierceness, and their courage. A truly sensational addition to our collective heritage.” —Neil Bartlett, author of Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall

“Extraordinary . . . A testament to the far more varied and beautiful truths about who lives and falls in love in Chile, be­yond the fathers that have dominated its literature . . . Prepare to be wrecked and resurrected, to be pulled into the world of char­acters who come immediately to life and who will not leave you. . . . Lemebel had a tremendous gift for unexpected metaphors, for how to conjure the singularity of a person through one strik­ing sensual detail. . . . Gwendolyn Harper’s lively translations in this volume con­tain all sorts of inventive recreations of Lemebel’s exacting slices into the intestines of Chilean speech. . . . I hope this volume will begin a long overdue international con­versation about, and celebration of, Lemebel’s exhilarating work . . . a body of work that deserves a far more prominent place in the international canon of writing that has expanded humanity’s understanding of itself.” —Idra Novey, from the Foreword

“Lemebel’s critique of the western colonisation of sexual identity was almost as vicious as it was of the Pinochet dictatorship.” The Observer (London)

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