THE NIGHT is a political novel about the financial crisis and socio-political division in Venezuela from 2008 to 2010. The title of the book, originally also in English, is a gesture towards the failure of Chavism - the legacy of the Socialist and often controversial former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez - to resist US influence. Yet, the form is unapologetically literary, a reflection on the depiction and distortion of reality through storytelling.
Recurring blackouts envelop Caracas in an inescapable darkness that makes nightmares come true. Real and fictional characters, most of whom are writers, play the role of narrator in this polyphonic novel. They recount contradictory versions of the plot, a series of femicides that began at the same time as the energy crisis. The central narrator is a psychiatrist who manipulates the accounts of his friend, an author writing a book titled The Night; and his patient, an advertising executive obsessed with understanding the world through word puzzles.
The author shifts between crime fiction and metafiction, cautioning readers that the events retold are both true and manipulated.
"Unabashed literature about literature"—TLS
“This novel is messy, exhilarating and hugely enjoyable. It is to the credit of Noel Hénandéz Gonzalez and Daniel Hahn that they engage so exuberantly with the technical and creative challenge of conveying such a linguistically imaginative novel into English.”—Rónán Hession, Irish Times