This image is the cover for the book Dissertation, Tinieblas

Dissertation, Tinieblas

This novel posing as a dissertation on León Fuertes, the fictional president of a made-up Banana Republic is “still fresh, funny, and disturbingly relevant” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

To fulfill his PhD requirement, Camilo Fuertes decides to write about his father León, the martyred president of Tinieblas, a small country in Latin America. As Camilo traces his family’s roots, we follow León along his twisted path through delinquency, learning, lust, and bravery to his historic position of leadership.

At once a powerful vision of Latin American history and a brilliant parody of the academic form—complete with endnotes—The Dissertation is the second novel in Koster’s acclaimed Tinieblas trilogy, and an essential postmodern novel in the tradition of Vonnegut, Barth, and Nabokov.

“One of the few books of the past 20 years that deserves to be called astonishing. It is a brilliant novel, structurally a marvel and, in all, a demonstration of elan as that quality seldom is experienced in a work of fiction.” —The Des Moines Register

“Longtime Panama resident Koster portrays Latin America with a comedian’s sense of timing, a scholar’s sense of history, and a native’s fond despair.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Koster is that rare thing: a writer from the heart, passionate and uncompromising.” —John le Carré

R. M. Koster

R. M. Koster was born in Brooklyn and has lived in Panama since 1957. He is the author of five novels and one work of contemporary history, and has had parallel careers as a university professor, reporter, and political activist. His shorter work has been published in the New Republic, Harper's Magazine, and Connoisseur, among others.

The Overlook Press