An aspiring young writer from Spain begins work as a teaching assistant on a Midwestern campus and finds himself sharing an office with Rodney Falk, a taciturn Vietnam veteran of strange ways and few friends. But when Rodney suddenly disappears the narrator becomes obsessed with discovering the secrets of his past. Why do people fear Rodney? What traumatic event happened at My Khe during the war? And, when the narrator's life takes a terrible twist, is Rodney the only person in the world who can save him?
Javier Cercas was born in 1962. He is a novelist, short-story writer and essayist, whose books include Soldiers of Salamis, which was a huge international success selling nearly 1 million copies worldwide, being translated into twenty languages and winning Cercas and Anne McLean the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction. Anne McLean has translated Latin American and Spanish novels, short stories, memoirs and other writings by writers including Carmen Martin Gaite, Orlando Gonzalez Esteva, Julio Cortazar and Tomas Eloy Martinez. Her translation of Soldiers of Salamis also won her the 2004 Valle Inclan Prize.