My Father’s Ghost is Climbing in the Rain
By Patricio Pron
Translated by Mara Faye Letham
A somewhat estranged young man (a writer) has been living abroad in the throes of alcoholism returns to his family in Argentina to face his dying father, who is no longer able to communicate in conversation. In the awkward and depressing time where the family comes together and awaits the imminent death he finds himself with anxious energy milling around his childhood home.
This brings him to sift through a cache of documents and news clippings saved by the father surrounding the disappearance and murder of a local man, lighting a curiosity to finally understand who his father was as a human and what his role was in an underground resistance.
The story unfolds into a sort-of-mystery, sort-of-memoir feel, unearthing the family’s connection to a more grisly era of political oppression that our protagonist apparently hadn’t understood his parents to be a part of, but was certainly a strong undertone in his childhood. It brings around a good amount of self-reflection in relation to what it means to be part of a family and homeland. The emotions and activity surrounding the waiting period of an imminent death are palpable and relatable.