Space Invaders
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Space Invaders

Nona Fernandez, Natasha Wimmer

A dreamlike evocation of a generation that grew up in the shadow of a dictatorship in 1980s Chile.

Space Invaders is the story of a group of childhood friends who, in adulthood, are preoccupied by uneasy memories and visions of their classmate Estrella Gonz lez Jepsen. In their dreams, they catch glimpses of Estrella’s braids, hear echoes of her voice, and read old letters that eventually, mysteriously, stopped arriving. They recall regimented school assemblies, nationalistic class performances, and a trip to the beach.

Soon it becomes clear that Estrella’s father was a ranking government officer implicated in the violent crimes of the Pinochet regime, and the question of what became of her after she left school haunts her erstwhile friends. Growing up, these friends - from her pen pal, Maldonado, to her crush, Riquelme - were old enough to sense the danger and tension that surrounded them, but were powerless in the face of it. They could control only the stories they told one another and the  ghostly green bullets  they fired in the video game they played obsessively.

One of the leading Latin American writers of her generation, Nona Fern ndez effortlessly builds a choral and constantly shifting image of young life in the waning years of the dictatorship. In her short but intricately layered novel, she summons the collective memory of a generation, rescuing felt truth from the oblivion of official history.   

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