May 2012 Teleconference
by Carolina De Robertis
Alfred A. Knopf
About the Book
Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires with a polished yet aloof mother and a straight-laced Naval officer father, whose profession she learned early not to disclose in a country still reeling from the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship. Although Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, her love for her Papá is unconditional. But when she is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has long suppressed, and make a wrenching decision about who she is, and will become.
This rich human drama is based on the truth of 30,000 disappeared Argentinean citizens and 500 babies who were born in clandestine detention centers, torn from their mothers and secretly given up for adoption. In the years that followed this dark time, some of these children have been able to discover the identity of their true families, and continue to do so today. Perla brings real history to life as only fiction can, in an intimate, unforgettable portrait of one young woman’s explosive search for truth. In her second novel, De Robertis unfolds a gripping and historically resonant tale with keen-eyed compassion, luminous prose, and a startling vision of the incomparable power of love.
About the Author
Carolina De Robertis
Carolina De Robertis’ first novel, The Invisible Mountain (Knopf, 2009), received the Rhegium Julii Debut Prize, has been translated into fifteen languages, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, O, The Oprah Magazine, and BookList. Her writings and literary translations have appeared in Zoetrope: Allstory, Granta, The San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. Her translation of the contemporary Chilean novella Bonsai, by Alejandro Zambra, was named one of the Ten Best Translated Books of 2008 by the journal Three Percent. She is also the recipient of a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
De Robertis grew up in a Uruguayan family that immigrated to England, Switzerland, and California. Prior to completing her first book, she worked in women’s rights organizations for ten years, on issues ranging from rape to immigration. Her second novel, Perla—in which the dutiful daughter of an Argentine Navy captain is forever altered when she is forced to confront her family’s role in past crimes and the buried secrets of her own origins—is forthcoming from Knopf in March of 2012.
She lives in Oakland, California, where she is currently elbow-deep in writing her third novel, which explores migration, sexual frontiers, and the tango’s Old Guard in early twentieth century South America.
Linda Rodriguez, author of