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Reading Groups

Reading Group: Roberto Bolaño’s 2666


five sessions

Out of stock

Every Three Weeks Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT February 12 to May 6, 2020

The Center for Fiction

This reading group will take place online via Zoom.

Meeting Dates:
2/12, 3/4, 3/25, 4/15, 5/6

Originally published in Spanish shortly after the author’s death in 2003, Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 is considered one of the greatest novels of the 21st century, in any language. Its sprawling plot takes in a mysterious German author and a gang of literary critics who set out to find him, the sinister and mostly unsolved femicides in the fictional border city of Santa Teresa (largely based on Ciudad Juárez) along with a fascinating exploration of the nature of horror, violence and art in the twentieth century.

In this reading group, we will approach 2666 as a multi-faceted, expansive novel that is many things at once: border narrative, history of violence, and meditation on the art and calling of literature. In addition to these thematic concerns, we will dissect the novel aesthetically, examining how each part employs different styles and structures.

The novel is divided into five sections, and we will read one section per week. (Please read each Part before the corresponding week’s meeting.) There will be no compulsory secondary reading or outside preparation beyond the novel itself.

  • Week 1 (2/12): The Part About the Critics (160pp)
  • Week 2 (3/4): The Part About Amalfitano (70pp)
  • Week 3 (3/25): The Part About Fate (120pp)
  • Week 4 (4/15): The Part About the Crimes (280pp)
  • Week 5 (5/6): The Part About Archimboldi (230pp)

*Content Warning: Part 4 of the novel in particular deals at length with violence against women.

Books Required:
Bolaño, Roberto. 2666. (trans. Natasha Wimmer) New York: Picador, 2008. 898pp

Books are not included in the cost of the class. Participants receive a 15% discount at our bookstore.


Led by

  • Author Photo Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter

    Samuel Rutter is a writer and translator from Melbourne, Australia with an extensive research background in contemporary literature from Latin America. He has translated novels, stories, screenplays and comics from French, Spanish and Catalan, and was awarded a PEN Translates Prize in 2016. In 2020 his translations of Carlos Busqued’s Magnetized and Sònia Hernàndez’ Prosopagnosia will be published. A recent graduate of the MFA in fiction at Vanderbilt University, his work has appeared in journals including Meanjin, Overland, The White Review, and Gulf Coast. He is currently writing his first novel.