Ernesto Duran is convinced he is sick. It becomes an obsession far exceeding hypochondria, and when Dr Andres Miranda gives up responding to his letters and e-mails, Duran resolves to stalk him. The fixation has its own creeping effect on Karina, Miranda's lonely secretary, who cannot resist becoming involved. Meanwhile, Dr Miranda has troubles of his own: he has diagnosed his father's illness, but cannot summon the courage to tell him. In trying to find the perfect opportunity to break the news gently, Miranda ensures only that their relationship descends into farce.
Profound and philosophical, The Sickness is a tender and intimate celebration of life's little absurdities and unlikely alliances.
Alberto Barrera Tyszka, poet and novelist, is well known in Venezuela for his Sunday column in the newspaper El Nacional. He co-wrote the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed Hugo Chavez (2007), the first biography of the Venezuelan president. His novel The Sickness won the prestigious Herralde Prize and was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Homeland or Death was the winner of the Tusquets Prize.