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The Violet Hour (La Hora Violeta)



Original Language: Spanish | 208 pp. | March 2013

2 Seas Represents: Dutch and English rights (USA & Canada).

Rights Sold: Italy (Sellerio, pre-empt), Turkey (Kahve).

Awarded the Premio Ojo Critico de Narrativa and Premio Tigre Juan.

Click here for a reading report in English — Full English translation available!


La hora violeta is the hour that no one wants to live and, nevertheless, Sergio del Molino makes us live it with him until the end, magnetized by his extraordinary ability to put into the right and painfully beautiful words, the atrocius silence that provokes what we don’t even dare to mention. — MARCOS GIRALT (Premio Herralde de Novela, Premio Nacional de Narrativa, Shortlisted for the Premio Nacional de la Crítica 2011, Shortlisted for Premio Las Américas)

And for all the author’s thoughtfulness and exactitude, his intellectual searching, it is Sergio del Molino’s grief, into which we’re drawn, that powers this beautiful, bitter, essential book. — Sarah Crown, The Times Literary Supplement

Sometimes literature can bring to life experiences that are often dismissed as indescribable. La hora violeta is another of those books. — Javier Rodriguez Marcos, Babelia.

It has an Olympic height (both literary and ethical). A must read. — Xurxo Fernandes, El Correo Gallego

A moving record of a father who uses words to convey the horror and sweetness of an extreme situation” […] A novel that wipes out all certainties of those who believe that writing can be therapeutic […] A deep – and sometime brutal, but always necessary – reflection on being parents. — Marco Peano, La Stampa

Those who lose their spouse are called widowers; a son losing his parents is called an orphan. But there is no word to describe a father that loses his son. Language did not find a word for his condition. The world has not planned his existence. When Pablo died, his father converted into a nameless being, into a look to avoid, into so many clichés…When Pablo died, his father got stuck into the target of medieval maps, that unexplored portion that scary cartographers labelled with the expression: “From there on, monsters”

Since his son’s death, Sergio del Molino tried to find the words that could name him and bring him back to the world, from which he felt expelled. He uses his writer’s skills not to pity himself nor to show anybody an epiphany, but as a way to delimit his grief and transform his cries into a literary moan. La hora violeta is the love story of a father to his son. It tells about the months during which Pablo was suffering from a severe leukaemia that, a year after the diagnosis, cause his death. But it’s not a book on illness and suffering. It’s book about an uninhibited and complex-less fatherhood, that goes deep into the relationship between fathers and sons and into the unlikeness of a loss. La hora violeta is not for fathers whose children are ill, but for every father, for any person able to understand a furious and irrational love, and for any reader who dares to give name to what the majority of languages preferred to omit.