Loosely related short stories set in the peaceful surrounds of rural Guatemala, where violence, gangs, extortion, and menace are never far away.
In seven interconnected short stories, the Guatemalan countryside is ever-present: a place of timeless peace, and the site of sudden violence. Don Henrik, a good man struck time and again by misfortune, confronts the crude realities of farming life, family obligation, and the intrusions of merciless entrepreneurs, hitmen, drug dealers, and fallen angels, all wanting their piece of the pie. Told with precision and a stark beauty, Trout, Belly Up is a beguiling, disturbing ensemble of moments set in the heart of a rural landscape in a country where brutality is never far from the surface.
Gabriel García Márquez Short Story Prize (Finalist)
Society of Authors TA First Translation Prize (Shortlist)
"While each of the shorts could stand alone--and do, rather successfully--deciphering and connecting the overlapping threads provides enhanced literary pleasure." —Shelf Awareness, starred review
"A smart, controlled debut from a writer who addresses poverty and criminality in a variety of registers." —Kirkus
"Fuentes is a consistently engaging and original writer...it is a joy to find writing of such high quality." —The Times Literary Supplement
"Fuentes’s prose is emotionally resonant and smartly constructed….These satisfying stories are full of surprises." —Publishers Weekly
"With grace and humility, Rodrigo Fuentes has written a subtle, luminous, memorable book."" —Rodrigo Hasbún , author of AFFECTIONS