In search of a better life, Tomás Rodrigues has rewritten his past with consequences disconcerting to his present. He is at a tipping point, fearful of losing the strands of his own life story. His dreamlike meanderings around Tokyo mirror his unreliable perceptions when he begins to obsessively track a woman who is the doppelgänger of his first true love—a romance that ended when she chose to search for her ancestral roots rather than pursue their future. Commissioned by the doctor who treats him after a minor accident, Rodrigues undertakes the translation of a 16th-century Portuguese manuscript only to find it dovetailing with his search for his former lover.
“Cosmopolitan in the best sense of the word, The Ruins is part genealogical search, part star-crossed romance, part ethnographic encounter, fused together in a spellbinding mystery that circumnavigates the globe. Reyes-Ruiz combines the trained eye of the anthropologist with the imagination of a seasoned novelist, managing to be learned and accessible a the same time. Highly recommended.”
Peter Kalliney, author of Commonwealth of Letters: British Literary Culture and the Emergency of Postcolonial Aesthetics
“A captivating narrative that delves with great wisdom and knowledge into Asian scenarios and, above all, renders a remarkable portrait of the human condition. Intelligent, well-written and documented, The Ruins marks the entrance of Rafael Reyes-Ruiz to the world of the contemporary novel.”
Santiago Gamboa, winner of the 2009 La Otra Orilla Literary Award
“Through the figure of Rodrigues, Reyes-Ruiz’s original and poignant work obliges us to do more than observe and take pictures of history’s casualties and catastrophes; it forces us to acknowledge the unpaid debt they have bestowed on our individual and collective investments in historical amnesia.”
John D. Blanco, Associate Professor Literature at UC San Diego