Never Did the Fire

Diamela Eltit author Daniel Hahn translator


Publisher:Charco Press

Published:5th Apr '22


Available for immediate dispatch.

Never Did the Fire cover

What happens when two revolutionaries are left with nothing to believe in, not even each other?

Never Did the Fire unfolds in the humdrum of everyday working class existence, making the afterlife of an agitator that of anyone living next door. For one old couple, brought together years ago in an underground cell, the revolution has ended in a small apartment, a grinding job caring for the bodies of the unwell well-to-do, and all the aches and pains that go with a long life and a long marriage. Untethered from the political action that defined them, and mourning the loss of their child, their bonds dissolve, but the consequences of their former life, and their dependence on each other, won't let them go.A literary icon in Chile and a major figure in the anti-Pinochet resistance, Diamela Eltit is at the height of her powers in this novel of breakdowns. Never Did the Fire evokes the charged air of Chile's violent past, and the burdens it carries into the present-day, when the structures we built, and the ones we succumbed to, no longer offer us any comfort or prospect of salvation.

"Never Did the Fire will be a first-rate literary experience for any reader." —El País

"One of the greatest merits of Diamela Eltit’s work is the way she narrates failure from the interior of her language." —Letras Libres

Praise for Diamela Eltit

  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 1985
  • Prize José Nuez Martín, 1995 for Los vigilantes
  • Nominated to Altazor Award 2001 in the category of literary essay with Emergencias. Escritos sobre literatura, arte y política
  • Prize Iberoamericano de Letras José Donoso 2010
  • Nominated to Altazor Award 2011 with the novel with Impuesto a la carne
  • Finalist in the Prize Rómulo Gallegos 2011 with Impuesto a la carne
  • Finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2012
  • Altazor Award 2014 in the fiction category for Fuerzas especiales
  • Simón Bolívar Professor at University of Cambridge (2014)
  • National Prize for Literature (Chile), 2018

"Her novels are radical projects that dispute the public space, the national interpretation and the role of genres under authoritarian conditions. (...) Her writing has an avant-gardist’s freedom of forms, a political reaffirmation of margins, and an exploratory and rebellious edge." Julio Ortega, BOMB magazine

‘One of the most brilliant literary voices in the region (…). Eltit writes furiously.’BBC Mundo

ISBN: 9781913867218

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

156 pages