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In the Distance

by Hernan Diaz


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A bold, lyrical western about loneliness, companionship and wonder

Håkan Söderström is a man who has become a legend. Giant in size, rumoured to be bloodthirsty and fearless, he is known simply as 'the Hawk'.

But behind this myth is a tale of longing and survival. As a young man he is sent from Gothenburg with his brother Linus, to seek their fortunes in New York. In the chaos of the port, he is separated from Linus and finds himself instead on a ship bound for California. Determined to find Linus, Håkan sets out on a journey east, moving against the tide of history, experiencing the Gold Rush and its effects, encountering capitalists and colonialists, explorers and early scientists, and witnessing the formation of America and the betrayal of its dream.

In the Distance is a novel about radical foreignness – about being lost in a country that does not yet exist. As Håkan confronts desert, mountains and vast emptiness, he is thrown between the threat of violence and devastating loneliness – all the while keeping the image of his brother, and the hope of companionship, in the distance.

'Brilliant... This suspenseful novel is a potent depiction of loneliness, a memorable immigration narrative, and a canny reinvention of the old-school western.' – Publishers Weekly

'It's as if Herman Melville had navigated the American West, instead of the ocean.' – The Nation

'Díaz's great gift lies in reconfiguring the possible, the expected, the taken-for-granted into something extraordinary.' – Paste

'If I could hand you this book I would. Read this... Propulsive, unsettling, wildly ambitious, and an unforgettable journey that we will certainly return to in the years to come.' – Paul Yoon, author of The Mountain

Publication Details

Daunt Books
Publication Date:


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Hernan Diaz (Author)

Hernan Diaz lives in New York, where he is associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He is the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity. This is his first novel.

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In the Distance
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