It’s official: Perla is now a published book, available in bookstores throughout the U.S. For all the preparations, it still amazes me that it now exists as a physical thing – though of course, in our digital times, it’s also available more virtually, as an ebook and an audio book (which I had the pleasure of recording myself).
I wrote the very first sketch of this novel six years ago, as a response to reading The Flight, by Horacio Verbitsky, which chronicles the confession of Adolfo Scilingo, a Navy officer haunted by his role in disappearances in Argentina. Scilingo’s story was the first to reveal that some of the disappeared were “disposed of” by being thrown, naked and alive, from airplanes into the sea. The image of these bodies, lost in the water between Argentina and Uruguay, stirred in me. I wrote a two-page story in which the spirits of the disappeared rose out of the water, years after their deaths, to visit their torturers and their loved ones. This tiny story was never published, though it did win an honorable mention in a contest judged by Margaret Atwood. It became the seed of Perla.
In April, I’ll be reading from Perla in ten U.S. cities – click here for details on events.