Book: The Conspiracy
A Novel by Israel Centeno
Translated by Guillermo Parra
The Conspiracy was published in 2002, shortly after the alleged coup against Hugo Chávez. The novel was interpreted by Chávez and his revolutionary party as an affront to their myth of origin. They launched a campaign against Israel Centeno that escalated from harassment and threats to violence, ultimately forcing him into exile.
Paperback | $14
Reviews of The Conspiracy
“His fleshy, psychologically penetrating work is one of the great undiscovered literary experiences of Latin America.”
—Aurelio Major, Co-founding editor of Granta en Español
“To open The Conspiracy is to be thrown off balance in the pulsating heart of a dangerous world of subterfuge and revolution, of idealism and bitter realism, where comradeship is an intense as betrayal. The alleyways and hideaways of Israel Centeno’s Venezuela are as real and visceral as the streets of Pasolini’s Rome.”
—Dermot Bolger, Author of the The Journey Home
“Centeno’s novel brings proof that fiction, wielded by expert hands, can conjure up the hidden machinery behind the alluring façade of utopian revolutions. A revolutionary novel on revolution’s deadly dead ends.”
—Ana Nuño, Author of Las Voces Encontradas
“A rare voice from Venezuela. In this fever dream of a novel shot through with dark humor, Centeno grapples with the fallout from generations of violence and corruption.”
—Natasha Wimmer, Translator of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666
About The Author
Israel Centeno (Caracas, 1958) has published 14 books, mostly novels, but also short fiction and poetry. He is regarded as one of the most important Venezuelan literary figures of the past fifty years. He has won numerous awards, including the Federico Garcia Lorca Award in Spain and the National Council of Culture Award in Venezuela in 1991.
Through his narratives Centeno conveys a sense of the many shortcomings of a society that feeds on grandiose historical myths that lead to poverty and violence. His fictions also accommodate his own experiences as an exile. His most outstanding work to date is to be found in the novels Calletania (Monte Ávila, 1992; Periférica, 2010), Exilio en Bowery (Troya, 1998; Nuevo Espacio, New Jersey, 2000), El Complot (Alfadil, 2002), Bajo las hojas (Alfaguara, 2010), and Según pasan los años (Sudaquia, 2013). He has published two books of short stories: El rabo del diablo y otros cuentos (Eclepsidra, 1993) and Criaturas de la noche (Alfaguara, 2000, 2011). Since 2011 he has lived in Pittsburgh with his wife and two daughters, as an exiled writer-in-residence at City of Asylum Pittsburgh.