Overcome with revulsion, I resolved to forget that name, Andrés Valenzuela. As if banishing him from memory could deny his ferocious persistence. Because here he is again, the protagonist of Nona Fernández’s novel The Twilight Zone, translated fluidly into English by Natasha Wimmer ... Could anything original still be expressed on the subject? ... In fact, The Twilight Zone is wildly innovative, a major contribution to literature, in Chile and beyond, that deals with trauma and its aftermath. Fernández, whose previous works of fiction have been admirably iconoclastic, belongs to a generation of prominent Chilean writers ... In order to hold together the novel’s interlocking fragments, all those lives endlessly trapped in 'dense, circular time,' Fernández deploys a brilliant literary strategy. She conjures up samples of popular culture, primarily from the TV series The Twilight Zone, and turns them into portals to another dimension ... It is up to us to risk entering that history and its blaze, to accompany her into that terrifying landscape and try to communicate with its ghosts.
'What then must we do?' is also the question behind the Chilean writer Nona Fernández’s riveting novel The Twilight Zone...elegantly translated by Natasha Wimmer ... The terrain that the novel addresses is fertile in part because of its unimaginable brutality ... Fernández has found an answer to the urgent question: making art is inadequate always, but powerful nonetheless.
it is a work of historical excavation—assembling, examining, and ultimately purging the suppressed memories of her country. Blending fact and fiction, Fernández offers a social autopsy of the era ... Hers is a psychic exorcism, a personal reckoning with Chile and its ghosts ... With The Twilight Zone, Fernández has written a novel with the urgency and power of the most remarkable works of witness, made all the more striking by its stylistic shifts in language and perspective ... The Twilight Zone is its own museum of memory, haunted, like Morales, by the voices of the disappeared.
... not an easy novel to read...because of the torn-apart families, the years of searching for lost ones presumed dead. It’s the scenes of fear ... But Fernández does a few great things to help us through the grim reality of the past that serves as background to the story ... What Fernández does is give us what we do not know ... And she manages to do it all while crafting a tight plot, with suspense born of the prose, so precise it often reads like a mystery caper.
All this is reconstructed by an autofictional narrator whose voice—translated by Wimmer with sparkling clarity—is as seductive and disquieting as the narrator of the The Twilight Zone episodes our narrator binge-watched as a child ... Fernández is concerned with the gray of complicity ... Fernández questions this impulse towards catharsis; narratively, she largely refrains from it. Still, there is real suspense as we circle a sticky question: how should a populace justly remember unthinkable injustice? By vividly imagining the man who tortured people, his victims, and their surroundings, Fernández directs our attention to what is a dizzyingly wide-reaching machinery of evil. We are left to imagine its afterlife.
... a gripping read that situates the scale of the atrocities in the reader’s imagination. When words fail, which they often do in the face of sheer horror, she turns to an eclectic array of cultural allusions ... harrowing ... Almost everyone likes to believe that they would have the courage and wherewithal to refuse an order to harm another person ... Holding to this conviction might be essential to performing the duties of a police officer, with the good, old sheepdog parable providing a compass when lost in a forest of doubts. Fernández’s The Twilight Zone tells a more tangled and disturbing story, one that requires wading through an unsettling fog in a 'dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.'
Echoing and emphasizing this reconsideration of the past, Fernandez repeats certain phrases throughout her writing, often referring to the title of the book and specific episodes of the popular television show of the same name, as a way to delve into the fluctuations of memory and to acknowledge the items and thoughts that remain while others slip away, while also highlighting the media and society’s role in what we remember ... Blurring these two worlds, Fernandez argues that evil isn’t exclusively the domain of the villains of our stories and lives, and this becomes the underlying note that ties together the last half of the work ... Fernandez’s novel works like an episode of The Twilight Zone. The dark connections to be made between past and present, friend and foe, evildoer and hero, are only readily apparent after emerging from the hazy world the reader has been immersed in.
Nona Fernández (Space Invaders) uses her considerable empathetic power as a novelist to penetrate the darkest corners of Chile under Pinochet's dictatorship. Fernández blends historical facts and seemingly autobiographical details with what can only be imagined, reconstructing not only the inner lives of people tortured and 'disappeared' by the regime's security apparatus, but that of one of the torturers ... In her novel, Fernández musters her courage and empathetic imagination to stare into the Twilight Zone, to look deep into a secret world that many would prefer to ignore or forget. The Twilight Zone is a frank look into a nation's subconscious and the dark dreams that haunt victims and perpetrators alike ... a wide-ranging, empathetic novel that doubles as a heartrending inquiry into the scars left in the Chilean psyche by Pinochet's dictatorship.
Chilean author Fernández’s second novel to be translated into English (after Space Invaders) powerfully evokes the brutality of Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship and is based on the life of one of his security policemen ... This disturbing story of a repentant man makes for a gripping psychological game of cat and mouse.
Fernández continues her project of lifting the veil on the dark years of Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship ... Fernández’s story has shades of the cat-and-mouse mystery, her touchstones emblems of mass global culture: episodes of The Twilight Zone, to be sure, but also old movies and, of course, the video games of the era ... Fernández is emerging as a major voice in South American letters, and this slender but rich story shows why.