Nominated by:

Biblioteca Daniel Cosío Villegas, El Colegio de México, A.C., Mexico City

Publisher of nominated edition:

Other Press, USA

The Days of the Rainbow

Antonio Skármeta      

Translated from the original Spanish by Mery Botbol

2015 Longlist

Nico, the son of a noted Chilean philosophy professor, witnesses his father’s arrest while he is teaching a class. Bettini, the father of Nico’s best friend, is a leftist advertising executive who has been blacklisted and is out of work after having been imprisoned and tortured by Pinochet’s police. This doesn’t stop the ministry of the interior from asking Bettini, who is the best in the business, to come up with a plan for the upcoming referendum designed to say “yes” to Pinochet’s next term. But just hours after he has been approached by the right, the head of the opposition makes him the exact same offer. What is Bettini going to do? Put his life on the line or sacrifice his political convictions? Finally he goes with the left. The next hurdle is finding a slogan that would be approved by the sixteen factions that comprise the opposition and who never agree on anything. Whiskey after whiskey, an idea finally emerges.

This vivacious tale examines how advertising and politics came together during the Pinochet regime. But this is also a coming-of-age story where we see through Nico’s experience what it means to grow up in a country where nothing is allowed and almost any move can feel like an earnest act of resistance.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Antonio Skármeta is a Chilean author who wrote the novel that inspired the 1994 Academy Award-winning movie, Il Postino (The Postman). His fiction has received dozens of awards and has been translated into nearly thirty languages. In 2011 his novel The Days of the Rainbow won the prestigious Premio Iberoamericano Planeta-Casa de América de Narrativa. His play El Plebiscito was the basis for the Oscar-nominated film No.

Librarian’s Comments

The Days of the Rainbow has been translated into English and French. In 2011 it won the Premio Iberoamericano Planeta-Casa de América de Narrativa award and also the Premio al Mérito Literario Internacional Andrés Sabella award.

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