The Trace (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

In the kitchen of literature, Forrest Gander's The Trace is your slow cooker. Contents within are revealed, over time, to be distinct, enriching, and (almost alarmingly) satisfying. Here, a couple in the wake of a traumatic, unspoken event involving their son, are on the road in Mexico. They're visiting the various alleged death sites of the American author Ambrose Bierce, they're sitting in silence, they're dodging suspicious stares from the locals and the glare of the sun. And then they're stranded in the middle of the Chihuahua desert. Tense and poetic, welcome this hearty, heady broth into your system. (Chad)

— From ChadPrime


The Trace is a masterful, poetic novel about a journey through Mexico taken by a couple recovering from a world shattered. Driving through the Chihuahua Desert, they retrace the route of nineteenth-century American writer Ambrose Bierce (who disappeared during the Mexican Revolution) and try to piece together their lives after a devastating incident involving their adolescent son. With tenderness and precision, Gander explores the intimacies of their relationship as they travel through Mexican towns, through picturesque canyons and desertcapes, on a journey through the the heart of the Mexican landscape. Taking a shortcut through the brutally hot desert home, their car overheats miles from nowhere, the novel spinning out of control, with devastating consequences. . . . Poet Forrest Gander's first novel As a Friend was acclaimed as "profound and relentlessly beautiful (Rikki Ducornet). With The Trace, Gander has accomplished another brilliant work, containing unforgettable poetic descriptions of Mexico and a story both violent and tender.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811223713
ISBN-10: 081122371X
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication Date: November 11th, 2014
Pages: 246
Language: English