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The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra

The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra

Author(s): Pedro Mairal

Location(s): Argentina

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): 20th century

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At age nine, Juan Salvatierra became mute following a horse riding accident. At twenty, he began secretly painting a series of long rolls of canvas, minutely detailing six decades of life in his village on Argentina’s river frontier with Uruguay.

After the death of Salvatierra, his sons return to the village from Buenos Aires to deal with their inheritance: a shed packed with canvases stretching over two miles in length, depicting personal and communal history. Museum curators come calling to acquire this strange, gargantuan artwork but an essential one of its rolls is missing.

A search that illuminates the links between art and life ensues, as an intrigue of family secrets buried in the past cast their shadows on the present.

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