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Fiction Literary


by (author) Claudio Gaudio

Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
Literary, Political, War & Military
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2012
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price

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A diplomat is captured by supposed insurgents and is waiting in a room for his execution. Texas is a provocative story of death against the backdrop of ugly and uncompromising politics. It is also a meditation on empire, imperialism and American hegemony. The writing borrows heavily from philosophy and poetry. A book full of unique visions, written by a writer who has an ear for cadence.

About the author

Claudio Gaudio is a Toronto based writer. Texas, his first novel, has been translated, in part, by Francesco Loriggio and included in an anthology in Calabria, Italy. Texas was shortlisted in 2013 for the RELIT Awards, and his work has appeared in ELQ (Exile Literary Quarterly), Rampike Literary Magazine and Geist, and Descant Magazine. Along with filmmaker Oleksiy Buyanov and composer Richard Underhill, Claudio is currently working on producing a series of videos based on Texas.

Claudio Gaudio's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A very distinctive voice, in tone and syntax, demanding of the reader’s close attention.

Barry Callaghan

A bold book, inventive and compelling, and I really admire what you’re doing with it. You have a very distinctive style, which is a welcome change! And terrific subject matter.

Alana Wilcox

Dark and caustic as it is, the humour did me good, drawing quite a few laughs. Your writing is already very much distinct from anything that I’ve come across in recent memory. What comes to mind is Beckett, but a Beckett who isn’t supercilious about history and would rather forget it in favour of ontology.

Francesco Lorrigio

Rich in imagination, timing and range

Robert Pinsky, American Poet

I love the immersion in excess that it gives me. I’m reminded of Robert Smithson’s essay on “a pile of language.” There is that Stein/Williams emphasis on a certain kind of materialization, it allows for the contradictory impulse of destructiveness. There is a strong sense of erasure, that unlike writing that is intended to fix finalize and preserve, here forgetting is just as important. You engage in an activity that is one of forward motion, A relentless running over cliffs, rushing toward its own destruction which has always already occurred. You’re making space by way of dislocation, the constant jarring filling of pages that empty just as fast.

Stephen Horne

User Reviews

Texas: A Poetic Critique of Political Subversion

Claudio Gaudio’s highly experimental style in his novel Texas is poetry trespassing on the contours of prose.

Texas is neither an easy read nor a page-turner. The rapid-fire cadence of the narrative is best savoured in small doses—one page here, another there. For every four lines of text is a poem, and Gaudio’s mastery of allegory and epigrams invites the reader to journey through a devastating criticism of power politics and post-colonialism.

The plot, or rather the shadow of a plot, ostensibly has as its protagonist a diplomat, whose primary function appears to be to wheel cartloads of dollars through various third world countries, subverting their regimes and imposing more acquiescent governments in their place. The name Texas is a thinly veiled euphemism for the US.

The diplomat, having run his course of luck on several continents and leaving behind chaos and misery, is suddenly kidnapped in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, with a striking resemblance to Iraq, although perhaps seasoned with a little of Afghanistan. The diplomat, imprisoned in a barren room in a non-descript suburb, awaits his impending execution. His warder Hakim, his only human contact, is an infrequent visitor.

As the diplomat loses all hope that his political masters will ransom him, he confides to the only other living creatures in his surroundings—a bird and a mouse—his inner thoughts about his long career in financing revolutions and coup d’états, quelling rebellious nations and “state-building.”

Poetry as political criticism is not new, but Claudio’s exceptional talent in weaving it into a thoroughly enjoyable full-length novel is, at least for the Canadian literary scene.

Texas is Gaudio's first novel and is published by Toronto's Quattro Books.

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