Since 2001, fiction based on September 11 has become almost de rigueur among major novelists writing in English. In the aftermath of the attacks on the Word Trade Center, many of the most famous authors of our time have weighed in on the attacks, depicting the ways large and small in which they altered people’s lives. Some hypothesized possible motivations behind the terrorists’ actions: John Updike in Terrorist (2006) and Martin Amis in the short story “The Last Days of Muhammad Atta” (2006).
Roberto Bola, the Chilean author whose posthumous publications are causing a stir in literary circles, is not the only author who was regarded as something of a sensation in his mother country years before becoming known in the United States. Of all the books published in the United States in 2004, less than 3 percent were translated from other languages--and English-language books make up only 30 percent of literature published worldwide.