On Heroes and Tombs

The most important work of fiction by a major Latin America author. On Heroes and Tombs is woven around a violent crime: the scion of a prominent Argentinian family, Alejandra, shoots her father and burns herself alive over his corpse. The story shifts between perspectives to reveal the lives of those closest to her, telling of Martín, her troubled lover; Bruno, a writer who loved her mother; and Fernando, her father—who believes himself hunted by a secret, international organization of the blind.

Exploring the tumult of Buenos Aires in the 1950s, characters are illuminated against burning churches and corporate greed. An examination of Argentinian history and culture, it reveals the country at every level, leading its reader into a world of passion, philosophy, and paranoia.

An ambitious, tapestry-type fiction. —Kirkus

Offers by way of fair exchange a rich motherlode of imagery, language and haunting scenes . . . Sabato’s 13-year gestation produced a frequently brilliant book. —Salman Rushdie

Dr. Sabato took his place among Latin America’s greatest writers, and he followed a singular literary path that distinguished him from the writers of the Latin American “boom” of the 1960s and 1970s. —Washington Post

Ernesto Sabato was born in Buenos Aires in 1911 and died in 2011. He published three novels—The Tunnel, On Heroes and Tombs, and Abaddon el Exterminador, which won the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Jerusalem Prize—and many volumes of essays. In 1985 he won the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (equivalent to the Nobel Prize for literature in Hispanic languages) “for four decades of literary endeavor”.