Traumatized by his past as a Bolivian soldier who, in a sudden coup d'etat, was forced to participate in atrocities, Alfredo flees to Montreal, haunted by the dead. He rides the Montreal metro and pours his guilt and shame into his writing, until he falls for a woman without a nation—a Kurdish freedom-fighter trying to blast an independent Kurdistan into existence. As the net of intrigue closes in on his lover, Alfredo is forced to face more fully his own violent past.
In a world where the intimate collides with the official and the past is made and remade again in a new country, Alejandro Saravia's novel in turn refuses to be bound by a single genre, style, or even language. Reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion in its exploration of the complicated relationship between nation, memory, and identity, Red, Yellow, Green considers what a place can mean to people who are out of place. At once heartbreaking and uplifting, bleak and humorous, Saravia offers a poignant reminder of the power of generosity and love.
Alejandro Saravia is a Canadian-Bolivian author. He settled down in Montreal in 1986, where he started writing again. His latest publications include Jaguar con el corazón en la mano (2010) and L'homme polyphonique (2014). He is the codirector of the Montreal literary magazine The Apostles Review.
María José Giménez is a translator and poet. She was born in Venezuela and has lived in the US and Canada since 1993.
PRAISE FOR RED, YELLOW, GREEN
“Deftly deploying multiple styles and perspectives, Saravia has added something original to the immigrant novel, and reminded us of how many untold stories lie just below the surface of urban life.” —Montreal Gazette
“A labyrinthine narrative that lodges like shrapnel – bracing and painful ... playfully absurdist, funny, brilliant, and courageous ... Saravia’s accomplishment in Red, Yellow, Green is to make you care, and deeply.” —Montreal Review of Books
“Heartbreaking and uplifting, full of humour and irony, and innovative all throughout, [Red, Yellow, Green] stretches the limits of genre and language as it speaks of love, life and suffering as remembered, and/or imagined by the protagonist.” —María José Giménez