Woes of the True Policeman: A Novel

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Begun in the 1980s and worked on until the author’s death in 2003, Woes of the True Policeman is Roberto Bolaño’s last, unfinished, novel.

Woes Of The True Policeman (paperback edition)

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  • Woes Of The True Policeman (paperback edition)
  • Woes Of The True Policeman (hardcover edition)


The novel follows Amalfitano—exiled Chilean university professor and widower with a teenage daughter—as his political disillusionment and love of poetry lead to the scandal that will force him to flee from Barcelona and take him to Santa Teresa, Mexico. It is here, in this border town—haunted by dark tales of murdered women and populated by characters like Sorcha, who fought in the Andalusia Blue Division in the Spanish Civil War, and Castillo, who makes his living selling his forgeries of Larry Rivers paintings to wealthy Texans—that Amalfitano meets Arcimboldi, a magician and writer whose work highlights the provisional and fragile nature of literature and life.

Woes of the True Policeman is an exciting, kaleidoscopic novel, lyrical and intense yet darkly humorous. Exploring the roots of memory and the limits of art, it marks the culmination of one of the great careers of world literature.

Additional Information

Author Roberto Bolano / Natasha Wimmer (translator)
Publisher Picador Books
Page Count 256pp
Publication Size 5.5 x 8.25
Publication Notes paperback
Publication Date October 22, 2013
ISBN 978-1250037824

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