The story behind Bolaño’s 2666

In a long and fascinating article in The Nation, Marcela Valdes provides a great deal of valuable and fascinating information on how Roberto Bolaño was able to present such a vivid and detailed account of the murders in Ciudad Juarez in 2666. According to Valdes, Bolaño corresponded extensively with a journalist who played a significant role in breaking the story behind the murders—and Bolaño rewarded him for his assistance by making him a character in the novel (though the journalist himself was less than thrilled to receive the tribute). Valdes also offers a well-informed and nuanced review of 2666 in the context of the real events in Ciudad Juarez, as well as many details about Bolaño’s process in working on the novel over a period of several years.

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