About the book

This is the story of a woman who faced her time and her world, but it is also the story of that time and that world: the second half of the 20th century and the first decades of the century in which we find ourselves.

In Just Before the End the life of the protagonist, a life marked by invisibility, illness, madness and violence, but also by resilience, will, affection and care for herself and others, comes into play. tension with some of the great events in public life: the arrival of the birth control pill, the invention of the instant camera, the development of treatments for mental illness, the space race and the race for the perfect hearing aid, the discovery of antimatter, the diagnosis of the Asperger spectrum, research to extend life, the Kyoto protocol…

Just before the end, it places the maternal figure in the center, a woman who is portrayed as a daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, friend, therapist, patient and, of course, mother. An intimate portrait and, at the same time, a chronicle of a world that is that of the mother, and also her own, Monge’s new novel has an original structure that orderly follows the sequence of years from the birth of the protagonist to her death. mourning, and in which the story is divided between what she evokes from the illness and what the family voices add, and what the narrator reads or remembers from the time, pulling from a heterogeneous set of threads chosen with a logic that becomes evident little by little.

In this story, which is a lucid personal and collective memory, the family is presented as the space of madness – a ghost that runs through a saga where the disease manifests itself in the most diverse forms –, physical and mental violence, a masculinity misunderstood, and the shared fear of chaos. But the family is also revealed as the terrain for affection, intimacy, caring and being cared for, and the construction of memory through a network of voices.

Narrating the maternal biography is for Monge the way, on the one hand, to recover fragments of a long conversation between mother and son, interrupted by the ailments of the sick body; and on the other, to go through grief. Narrating the other, in turn, is a way of narrating oneself.

Returning to autobiographical territory, Emiliano Monge has achieved something that seemed impossible: a novel that is a portrait as well as a mural. The portrait of a mother and the mural of the world we live in.

Source: https://algunoslibrosbuenos.com/justo-antes-del-final

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