The Same Night

Leopoldo Brizuela

NOVELA. ALFAGUARA, 2012. 288 PAGES.

ALFAGUARA NOVEL AWARD 2012

Early one morning in 2010, a writer becomes a chance witness to a robbery in a neighbouring house. This is not a typical robbery: it is carried out by an organized gang with access to banking secrets, knowledge of extremely sophisticated alarms, several different cars patrolling the area, vans and even a forensic police unit. 


The following day, speaking to neighbours, the writer finds out that the robbers were indeed policemen and that the victims, an extremely rich family, are too afraid to report the incident. But what the writer finds most disturbing is that he has already experienced a similar event in the past: an event of which he is the sole surviving witness.  The writer remembers that in 1976 (the first year of the military dictatorship in Argentina), the same house was robbed by an elite police unit searching for Diana Kuperman, a lawyer linked to the Graiver Group, a powerful banking and industrial company which, amidst thinly veiled anti-semitic slurs, was accused of financing the guerilla resistance.

The writer was just thirteen years old when, together with his parents, he was an unwilling participant in the affair. Then, too, the event was followed by silence and slipped into oblivion.  But now, thirty-four years later, the writer decides to write about and publish the story that neither he nor his parents ever mentioned again. How is it possible that a criminal structure set up decades ago during the dictatorship still exists today, in 2011? And how can be it be that the general public has the same attitude towards it; the same fear? Only by delving into the past will the writer be able to liberate the present. 

The novel begins in a personal tone but takes an incredible turn when the current government decides to re-open the investigation into the Graiver Group and the way in which the military dictatorship, via defamation, torture, and murder, forced the family to hand over its economic empire, which included Papel Prensa, the only paper factory in the country, on which the country's entire written press still depends. 

As the writer recovers secrets from his own memory, an intricate labyrinth of mafia organizations and power is slowly revealed - in which the narrator is both victim and detective. The Same Night explores the role of the citizen when faced with organized crime, reflecting on memory, our capacity to express the experience of horror and, above all; the intolerable recollection of our own cowardice.      

"A disturbing, hypnotic and existential thriller."

Rosa Montero 

 

"A novel guilty of a superlative transfer

of traumatic memories to the reader."

Ricardo Baixeras, EL PERIÓDICO

 

"Literature in capital letters, the kind that discusses

the big issues through the small ones."

Antonio Orejudo

 

"The novel is a story written in the shadows, a story of interiors,

of skeletons in the closet, the back-room or cellar of a society

and the recent history of Argentina which is a story of violence and guilt."

Rosa Montero

 

"A literary exorcism of the dictatorship."

Winston Manrique, EL PAÍS

PUBLISHED BY: Spanish Worldwide ALFAGUARA | Brazil OBJETIVA | France SEUIL | Italy PONTE ALLE GRAZIE | Portugal OBJECTIVA

Other titles from Leopoldo Brizuela:

Muntaner, 339-5º 08021 Barcelona · Tel (34) 932 011 310 · · Member of ADAL