Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Woes of the True Policeman

Woes of the True Policeman

A Novel

Roberto Bolaño; Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer




Trade Paperback

Author of The Savage Detectives and 2666

Crushed by a devastating scandal, university professor Óscar Amalfitano flees Barcelona for Santa Teresa—a Mexican city close to the U.S. border, where women are being killed in staggering numbers. There, Amalfitano begins an affair with Castillo, a young forger of Larry Rivers paintings, while his daughter, Rosa, reeling from the weight of his secrets, seeks solace in a romance of her own. Yet when she finds her father in bed with Castillo, Rosa is confronted with the full force of her crisis.

What follows is an intimate police investigation of Amalfitano, leading to a finale of euphoria and heartbreak. Featuring characters and stories from The Savage Detectives and 2666, Roberto Bolaño's Woes of the True Policeman mines the depths of art, memory, and desire—and marks the culmination of one of the great careers of world literature.



According to Padilla, remembered Amalfitano, all literature could be classified as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Novels, in general, were heterosexual. Poetry, on the other hand, was completely homosexual. Within...


Praise for Woes of the True Policeman

“The most significant Latin American literary voice of his generation.” —The New York Times Book Review

“One of our greatest writers...Latin American letters (wherever it may reside) has never had a greater, more disturbing avenging angel than Bolaño.” —Junot Díaz, The New York Times Book Review

“The writing never feels stale but, rather incredibly, shines anew....The publication of a Bolaño novel, complete or not, is never anything less than an event of language and devilish wit.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Bolaño's voice demands attention.” —The New Yorker

“Bolaño [seems] to come from an understanding that people are portholes; that a creation can represent singular space that otherwise would go unknown....He allows the novel to vibrate through its box.” —Vice

“Indelible Bolaño...[Woes of the True Policeman] may offer insight into the writer's larger project.” —Los Angeles Times

“Full of watching a master magician unpacking his bag of tricks.” —The New Orleans Times-Picayune

In the Press

Prologue to Woes of the True Policeman by Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas Translated by Natasha Wimmer Woes of the True Policeman is a project that was begun at the end of the 1980s and continued until the writer's death. - FSG's Work in Progress

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Roberto Bolaño; Translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer

Roberto Bolaño was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1953. He grew up in Chile and Mexico City, where he was a founder of the Infrarealist poetry movement. He is the author of The Third Reich, The Savage Detectives, which received the Herralde Prize and the Rómulo Gallegos Prize, and 2666, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Bolaño died in Blanes, Spain, at the age of fifty.

Roberto Bolaño

Roberto Bolaño

Natasha Wimmer

Natasha Wimmer

From the Publisher


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