Operation Massacre has long been considered a pioneering piece of true crime reportage in Latin America and is now available in English for the first time. Translator Daniella Gitlin and critic Michael Wood will be discussing the book's importance in the history of Latin American literature, as well as its relevance today.
Rodolfo Walsh’s classic of investigative journalism is a detailed account of the night of June 9th, 1956, when about a dozen men in a Buenos Aires suburb were arrested on suspicion of conspiring against the military government, and taken to a garbage dump on the edge of the city to be executed. Walsh tracked down survivors of this execution and tells their stories and the aftermath of that fateful night.
Walsh went on to publish four versions of the book in Argentina starting in 1957 and worked tirelessly to seek justice for the men who were killed and to speak out against the military regimes that destroyed so many lives. A day after submitting his now famous 1977 “Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta,” (included in the appendix) Walsh was gunned down in the street by agents of the State and his body was never found.
Daniella Gitlin is a writer, translator, and editor. She studied comparative literature at Princeton University and spent a year in Buenos Aires working with Poder Ciudadano, the local affiliate of Transparency International. She has an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.
Michael Wood is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He has written books on Bunuel, Kafka, Nabokov, and Garcia Marquez, and is the author of a study of the ancient and continuing allure of oracles. Among his other works are America in the Movies, Literature and the Taste of Knowledge, Children of Silence, Yeats and Violence, and most recently an edited volume of the letters of Italo Calvino. Wood is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and the NY Review of Books.