Tuesday, 13 July 2010

RIP Juan Hernández Luna (1962-2010)

Mexican author Juan Hernandez Luna, who twice won the Dashiell Hammett crime-novel prize for his books has died of kidney failure. He won the Dashiell Hammett prize in 1997 and 2007 for the detective novels Tabaco para el Puma (Tobacco for the Puma) and Cadaver de Ciudad (City Corpse).

City Corpse is a dark tale of the underworld of Mexico federal district concessions seasoned with magic realism and pseudo-religious fantasy

His reputation as a detective fiction writer however did not start until 1991 when he wrote Naufragio (Shipwrecked). This was followed by Quizás otros labios (Perhaps other Lips) in 1994,

In Quizás otros labios Enrique Mejia, known as The Crow, is at a low point--his girlfriend has finally left him for good. Together with a painter in search of his past, he shares more than loneliness: they both witnessed a murder during a carnival in Puebla. The secrets hidden inside an image of James Dean put their lives at risk as they try to find out who is following them, and why.

1n 1996 he wrote Tabaco para el Puma (Tobacco for the puma) and Tijuana Dream in 1998. In 2006 he wrote Yodo (Iodine). In Yodo on the outskirts of a corrupt city lives a serial killer covered in tattoos and with no fear of the light of day. In his home he hides morbid secrets--bones, blood, and other souvenirs--that keep him in a perpetual state of euphoria, passion, and tears. His comfort: butchering dozens of chickens and returning to the permanent shadow of the world in which he lives, where money laundering and treason are typical ways to start the day.

He also contributed a short story Bang to Akashic Books excellent Mexico City Noir.

An obituary can be found in the Latin American Herald Tribune.

Whilst his books have been translated into a number of other languages they do not appear to have been translated into English.

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