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Pub Date: 02/04/2020

Pages: 85

Trim: 5 x 8

Publisher: Charco Press

Imprint: Charco Press

ISBN 13: 9781999722746

ISBN 10: 1999722744

Price: / $20.50 CAN$13.95

Category: FICTION / Literary


By Luis Sagasti, Fionn Petch

Price: $13.95



About the Book

How do we even begin to narrate the history of the world? Where do we start, and where do we end? Fireflies is Sagasti’s bold and original attempt to answer these questions. Taking an eclectic array of influences and personalities from modern history, he teases out events that at first glance seem random and insignificant and proceeds to weave them together masterfully, entertaining as he enlightens. Joseph Beuys, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Stanley Kubrick, Neil Armstrong, Wittgenstein, Glenn Miller and the Beatles; poets and authors, priests, astronauts and Russian sailors all make an appearance, and Sagasti finds common threads to bind their stories together.

 The fireflies themselves perhaps provide the key to understanding this book. They become a metaphor for the resistance of certain luminous moments, certain twinkling fragments of history, to the passing of time. They remind us that events do not always disappear neatly into the darkness, but rather remain, floating in the air, lighting up the night sky for years to come. Sagasti shows us that the present moment, like this novel, is a tapestry woven of a multiplicity of times.

Using his unique, poetic and keenly observant style, Sagasti turns the accidents of history into a single, lyrical constellation, and for the reader it’s an extraordinary sight. 

  • Shortlisted for the Society of Authors' TA First Translation Prize (UK)

About the Book

A lyrical and philosophical exploration of seemingly unrelated people and events in modern history, drawing them together to form a whole.


Luis Sagasti, a writer, lecturer and art critic, was born in Bahía Blanca, Argentina in 1963. He graduated in History at the Universidad Nacional del Sur where he now teaches. From 1995 to 2003 he was Curator in charge of Education and Cultural Outreach at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bahía Blanca, authoring numerous art catalogues for exhibitions. Including Fireflies (known in Spanish as Bellas Artes, 2011), he has published four novels: El Canon de Leipzig (Leipzig's Canon, 1999), Los mares de la Luna (Seas of the Moon, 2006), and Maelstrom (2015). He also has a book of essays Perdidos en el espacio (Lost in Space, 2011). His new novel, Una ofrenda musical (A Musical Offering) came out in early 2017.

Fionn Petch is a Scottish translator now based in Berlin. He translates fiction, poetry and plays from Spanish and French, and also specialises in art and architecture. He has curated multidisciplinary exhibitions and worked for film and literature festivals. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the UNAM, Mexico. Fionn was awarded a PEN Translates award for his translation of The Distance Between Us, which is his second title for Charco Press, after Fireflies by Luis Sagasti.