A Journey Through the Ghost Towns of Patagonia
María Sonia Cristoff
Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver
Part reportage, part personal essay, part travelogue, False Calm is the breakout work by Argentinian author María Sonia Cristoff. Writing against romantic portrayals of Patagonia, Cristoff returns home to chronicle the ghost towns left behind by the oil boom. In prose that showcases her sharp powers of observation, Cristoff explores Patagonia’s complicated legacy through the lost stories of its people and the desolate places they inhabit.
With time I have reached the conclusion that, as it is in my personal history, isolation is present in everything I have ever read about Patagonia. Everything, I repeat, though I don’t think this is the place to make lists. I returned to write an account of this eminently Patagonian characteristic. I wanted to see the shapes it takes today; I wanted to locate it at its furthest extremes.
PRAISE FOR FALSE CALM
"A bold, beautiful book."—The New York Times
“False Calm bears little relation to most travelogues . . . It's not exploration; it's portraiture."—NPR
"Fascinating, informative, and ultimately a pleasure to read."—World Literature Today
"A marvelous chronicle."—Publishers Weekly
"Personal memoir, travelogue, and history combine in María Sonia Cristoff’s False Calm, a journey that peels back the layers of the ghostly fog blanketing Patagonia to reveal engrossing complexity."—Foreword Reviews
“A magnificent example of a chronicler-essayist narrator: a unique species of those who are possibly on the way to extinction.”—Alejandra Costamagna
"Captivating, intelligent, where the silent strength reaches beyond the real at hand.”—Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
First Published: October 2, 2018
5.25 x 8 | 248 pages