The Trace

The Trace


The Trace

Author: Forrest Gander

A masterful, gripping novel about an American couple on a road trip through Mexico. After a devastating incident involving their adolescent son, Dale and Hoa embark upon a trip through the vast Chihuahua Desert.
They try to piece their lives back together while retracing the steps of the American writer Ambrose Bierce who disappeared during the Mexican Revolution in 1914. With tender precision, Gander explores their intimacy as they travel through towns and picturesque canyons on a journey through the heart of the Mexican desert. After taking a short-cut through the brutally hot countryside, their car overheats miles from nowhere with terrible consequences…

Original language

ENGLISH (North America) | New Directions

Translation rights

FRENCH | Sabine Wespieser Éditeur
SPANISH | Sexto Piso
TURKISH | Yapi Kredi


«Gander’s poetic writing lends this adventure story a dense, brooding atmosphere; Dale and Hoa’s troubles unfold slowly in this carefully crafted novel of intimacy and isolation.» The New Yorker

«Gander shows he is keenly aware of the loneliness that imbues human suffering and sets grief alight using beautiful, tense, haunting prose. As the well-paced plot creeps ever forward, the mysterious events at the beginning of the book are slowly revealed, resulting in an incendiary denouement that comes as a relief, but not without each character’s sacrifices. An intense read.» Publishers Weekly

«The Trace is a poet’s book, which is to say it is filled with the pleasures of language, sharply and skilfully used, but Forrest Gander also has the narrative drive of the best novelists. The Trace is a tense, propulsive thriller, which keeps on building until the very last page.»  Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men.

«I had Francisco Goldman’s excellent writings about the misunderstood Mexican ‘cult of death’ on my mind while reading Gander’s second novel about a couple who navigate ruinous emotional trauma while on a road trip through Mexico.» Flavorwire, 50 Best Independent Fiction Books of 2014

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