Woes of the True Policeman

Roberto Bolaño

Translated by Natasha Wimmer
16 January 2014
272 pages


Crushed by a devastating scandal, university professor Óscar Amalfitano flees Barcelona for Santa Teresa – a Mexican city close to the US border. In this sprawling town, where women are being killed in staggering numbers, Amalfitano begins an affair with Castillo, a young forger of Larry Rivers paintings, while his daughter, Rosa, reeling from the weight of his secrets, seeks solace in a romance of her own.

Featuring characters and stories from The Savage Detectives and 2666, Roberto Bolaño’s Woes of the True Policeman explores the power of art, memory, and desire – and marks the culmination of one of the great careers of world literature.

‘Hallucinatory, manic, fearful, comic . . . Bolaño must be read by anyone who loves the novel’ Herald
‘There is a power in these pages that very few writers ever achieve’ Scotsman
‘A further demonstration of Bolaño’s profound capacity to inhabit a seemingly limitless variety of perspectives with humor and empathy . . . an event of language and devilish wit’ Wall Street Journal