The Complete Memoirs
Author: Pablo Neruda; Translated from the Spanish by Hardie St. Martin and Adrian Nathan West
The classic memoir of the Nobel Prize–winning poet, now expanded with newly discovered material
Southern Chile was an open frontier when the beloved poet Pablo Neruda was born there in 1904. A motherless, pensive child in the wild, he began writing poems long before quitting the countryside for Santiago, where he spent his bohemian student years. From there, his memoir follows his travels as a globetrotting Chilean consul—including a stint in Spain during its civil war, and in Mexico, where he attracted attention for aiding a man suspected of conspiring to assassinate Leon Trotsky—and his short-lived service as a Chilean senator. Neruda, a communist, was driven from his senate seat in 1948, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. After a year in hiding, he escaped on horseback over the Andes, then to Europe and Asia. The memoirs conclude shortly after the coup in 1972 that overthrew his close friend Salvador Allende, Chile’s first democratically elected president, as Neruda himself battled cancer.
Now expanded to include newly discovered material, The Complete Memoirs is the definitive edition of Neruda’s classic memoir—a moving, revealing record of his life as a poet, a patriot, and one of the twentieth century’s true men of conscience.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
In The News
“[A] masterpiece memoir . . . First published in 1974, the year following his death, and now released with newly discovered material, this expanded version of his memoirs gives color to the tumultuous story of his life . . . In his memoirs, Neruda shares himself through the language of someone who spent a life thinking in poetry. From chapter to chapter, he grounds the episodes that shaped him in the intimate recollection of unforgettable people, hidden spaces, new flavors, and secret conversations. This is the revelatory self-portrait of a man whose contemporary, Gabriel García Márquez, another legend of Latin literature, once called 'the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.'" —Mark Libatique, Avenue