IN THE DISTANCE
By Hernan Diaz
Coffee House Press, October 10, 2017
Finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
A young Swedish immigrant finds himself penniless and alone in California. The boy travels East in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great current of emigrants pushing West. Driven back again and again, he meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, swindlers, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Diaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre, offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.
“An affecting oddness is the great virtue of In the Distance, along with its wrenching evocations of its main character’s loneliness and grief. And its ability to create lustrous mindscapes from wide-open spaces, from voids that are never empty.” —New York Times
“Hernan Diaz’s In the Distance is exquisite: assured, moving, and masterful, as profound and precise an evocation of loneliness as any book I’ve ever read.” —Lauren Groff
"The way [In the Distance is] written . . . is so fluid and beautiful—it’s like watching an intellectual Western." —Angel Olsen
“[In the Distance] is an episodic picaresque adventure, but the transitions are so smooth—and the prose is as unbroken as the horizon—that the past fades away like a dream. It’s as if Herman Melville had navigated the American West, instead of the ocean.”—The Nation
About the Author
Hernan Diaz is the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity (Bloomsbury, 2012) and the associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He lives in New York.