It is 1984 in Chile, in the middle of the Pinochet dictatorship. A member of the secret police walks into the office of a dissident magazine and finds a reporter, who records his testimony. The narrator of Nona Fernández's novel is a child when she first sees this man's face on the magazine's cover with the words "I Tortured People." Fernández follows the "man who tortured people" to places that archives can't reach, into the sinister twilight zone of history where morning routines, a game of chess, Yuri Gagarin, and the eponymous TV show of the novel's title coexist with the brutal yet commonplace machinations of the regime.
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.