These nine spellbinding stories of adventure, exploration and voyage are peopled with ravenous explorers, fortune hunters, foreign revolutionaries, ill-fated seafarers, intrepid ship’s captains, and ruthless smugglers. But the undeniable protagonist around which these characters gravitate is nature itself. Southern Chile, the world’s end, with its severe beauty—cold, inhospitable, treacherous, desolate—finds its ideal poet in Francisco Coloane. In his stories, this stern landscape rises like a definitive symbol of the elementary and ceaseless drama of human passions. Coloane is a master storyteller, deftly distilling the universal from the particular and the extreme. But no abstraction of this kind can do these tales justice. Their enduring beauty lies in the forceful, gripping narrative and the elements that principally comprise this narrative: men, their crimes and their passions: and the land itself in all its breathtaking glory and its murderous wrath.
“Long arms, arms like rivers, are necessary to fully embrace Francisco Coloane. Or perhaps it’s necessary to be a squall of wind, gusting over him beard and all. Otherwise, take a seat across the table from him and analyze the question, study him deeply; you will surely end by drinking a bottle of wine with Francisco and happily postponing the matter to some other time.”—Pablo Neruda
“More than any other writer, Francisco Colane is able to throw open the doors to an entirely new world.”—Luis Sepulveda
“Fancisco Colane is the greatest poet of the extreme reaches of South America . . . There are writers who have had the fortune, the ability, or the genius to reveal through their books worlds previously unknown to us . . . Coloane was one of these very rare authors.”—Stefano Malatesta
Francisco Coloane was born in the southern Chilean island of Chiloé. His stories and novels, fruit of a literary career that spanned almost sixty years, have been translated into over ten languages. He was awarded the Premio Nacional de Literatura (National Prize for Literature) in 1964 in Chile, and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the French Republic. After his death in 2002, the Chilean government officially recognized him as a central figure of 20th-century Chilean literature. He was a great friend of Pablo Neruda and delivered an impromptu eulogy to the poet at an unofficial funeral held in the streets of Santiago on September 23 1973 after General Pinochet had forbidden any public memorial in honor of the Nobel laureate. The movie Tierra del Fuego (2000, directed by Miguel Littin) is based on Coloane’s novel by the same name. Coloane's Wikipedia profile