My fathers’ Ghost is climbing in the rain by Patricio Pron

my fathers' ghost is climbing in the rain

My fathers’ Ghost is climbing in the rain by Patricio Pron

Argentinian fiction

Original title El espíritu de mis padres sigue subiendo en la lluvia

Translated by Mara Faye Lethem

Source – Netgalley

Well I am on netgalley and don’t often choose a book ,but when I saw this book ,which I had mentioned a few times in recent months was up for review I just had to choose it ,Pron has been on my radar for a couple of years  .He featured in the Granta  best  new Spanish language writing collection from 2011 ,and in fact  he was one of the writers And other stories was reading back in 2010 .So  Patricio  Pron studied in both Argentina and Germany ,before becoming a correspondent for a Le capital where he spent a lot of time travelling Europe ,eventually settling  in Madrid ,he has won a number of prizes for his books .This is his first novel to be translated into English

As I flew toward my father ,toward something I didn’t know but which was disgusting and frightening and sad ,I wanted to remember what I could about my life with him .There wasn’t much .

Patricio returning home to his dying father .

So My fathers’ ghost is climbing in the rain is a book about families and There past in Argentina .The story focus on a son who has found out his father is dying, back home in Argentina  the son is a writer the father was a builder ,so he returns to Argentina from Germany .Father and son have a strained relationship and have grown distant over time .The son returns to his parents house and  while looking round finds documents ,maps clipping  regard an incident in the past ,that his father was obsessed with an incident and the one man and a girl .This leads the son on a journey ,Patricio finds out about his parents past and what happened in 1977 the height of the time called the dirty war in Argentina . Patricio the son is unaware of what his parents did during this time and via this journey into the past he discovers more than he expected and maybe ends up closer to his father .A journey though a man death in 2008 back to a girl who “disappeared” by the junta and what was a father search for justice . Pron handles the past of Argentina with subtle tones through a family story .

The folder was thirty by twenty-two centimetres ,made of a very lightweight cardboard in a pale yellow colour .It was two centimetres thick and enclosed by two elastic bands that once been white but at this point had a slight brown tone :one of the bands held the folder from top to bottom and the other along its width which made them form a cross ; more specifically a Latin cross

Patricio finds his father collection of clippings and things .

Pron manages to  fit nicely in my thoughts on Argentinian fiction ,between a number of  other Argentinian writers I ve read in recent years. The father and son relationship could be a grown up version of the narrator in Marcelo Figueras Kamchatka  which I reviewed here set during the time ,one could imagine Patricio as a grown version of Harry the narrator of that book .Carlos Gamerro is another writer which  springs to mind both his books I have under review here , are crimeesque without being crime more as in this case as one man’s quest for the truth is like a master detective searching for the smoking gun , in Carlos Gamerro case , what happened in the dirty war in Open secret and during the Falklands in The islands ,also a wider sense in spanish language writing to look back on past events recent books by Lhosa ,Marquez ,Cercas and Goytisolo have all looked at the recent past with honest eyes and breadth like My fathers ‘ ghost is climbing in the rain does .Pron book evokes the past in the present and is wonderfully held together in English by the translator Lethem .We also see how father and sons can be distant over time but when the layers are peeled away are one and the same .

Hvae you a favourite book  from Argentina ?


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie (Farm Lane Books)
    Jun 10, 2013 @ 16:09:04

    I love the title of this book! I haven’t read many books from Argentina and I’m afraid none have really excited me yet. Perhaps this one would buck that trend?


  2. Parrish
    Jun 10, 2013 @ 20:43:21

    Based on your write up, it seems to be in a similar vein to The Sound of Things Falling, another book where someone traces an individuals past, which I thoroughly enjoyed.


  3. Brian Joseph
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:45:27

    I tend to like stories that explore a character’s or family’s murky past. Of course in society’s where really bad things happened as in the case of Argentina such narratives have a lot of potential for dramatic and emotional impact.


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  6. whisperinggums
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 10:11:35

    Just saw this on Reading Matters Advent Calendar Stu … sounds interesting. Love your comment about Fathers and Sons at the end – though I’m not sure all sons like to think it!


  7. kimbofo
    Dec 06, 2013 @ 22:05:49

    I’ve added this one to my wishlist, Stu, it sounds fantastic. Thanks for highlighting it via my advent calendar.


  8. sandradan1
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 10:53:47

    Hi, thanks for finding and liking my Spanish blog. I’m pleased to find yours, always looking for book recommendations! You might like my writing blog too at
    Re. Argentinian writers, it has to be Borges.


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June 2013


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