David Bergen
Price: £
  • Hardback
7 Sep 2017
  • Crime & Thriller
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By the winner of the prestigious Giller Prize, David Bergen’s electrifying novel is a profoundly intelligent, unflinchingly honest portrayal of modern immigration, exploitation, inequality and vulnerability.

Íso Perdido is a young Guatemalan woman who works in a fertility clinic where she tends to the rich women who visit for the supposed conception-enhancing properties of the local lake. She is the lover of Eric, the American doctor in residence. When an accident forces him to leave Guatemala abruptly, Íso is abandoned, heart-broken and pregnant. After the birth, her daughter is abducted and taken to America to live with the father beyond Íso’s reach.

Determined to reclaim her stolen child, Íso follows a trail north descending into a world full of danger. She crosses illegally into the United States where the rich live in safe zones, walled away from the indigent masses. Travelling without documentation, and with little money, Íso must penetrate this place of menace and shifting boundaries, uncertain of who to trust, wary that a wrong choice could mean losing her daughter forever.

Intense and beautifully rendered, Stranger is a powerful and affecting novel for our times.


'Breathtaking… a work of genius' Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves

David Bergen is a writer with perfect instinct for the old traditions of epic storytelling, and also for intricate observation of how people operate, and why they do what they do.  Stranger is compressed and intense, its language clear, its story provocative and exciting. Novels as good as  this come around rarely—a few in a lifetime' Samantha Harvey, author of Dear Thief

'An edge-of-the-seat trip... puts to the test the notion of what borders are and questions the entitlements they give us' Daily Mail

‘An amazing story of the lengths a mother will go to in order to save her child... I'd urge anyone who struggles to sympathise with immigrants to read this book’ The Bookbag 

‘Bergen writes with authority and we are pulled in from the first page… he shows a fine understanding of human emotions’ Maddy Broome, Bookhugger 5-star review

'Like watching a game of Russian roulette… Stranger feels like a caution, warning of the dangers of continued disunity and the growing rift from inequality' Toronto Star

'Brilliant and utterly convincing' Globe and Mail

'The gorgeous lyricism of David Bergen’s latest novel recalls the atmosphere of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea' Maclean’s

'Arguably his best novel… The book manages the rare feat of being profound and important but at the same time absolutely gripping' Quill & Quire

'I loved Stranger from start to finish' The Girly Bookclub

‘A novel with a sharp political sensibility, an exploration of Northern entitlement and Southern deprivation delivered simply…  an easy, absorbing read, but it has some serious points to make about entitlement, wealth and poverty, and makes them well’ A Life in Books

‘From the first few pages I was drawn in... an unusual tale of migration , with a timely humane message... reflects an insular mood pervading the world right now, and the woman and child at its centre serves to remind us of the human stories beneath the rhetoric’ BooketyBook

'Packs in a great deal within its pages and at times, I was extremely moved by what I read... a great story that explores important issues' BiblioBeth, book blogger

David Bergen

About David Bergen

David Bergen is the award-winning author of seven previous novels and a collection of short stories. A Year of Lesser was a New York Times Notable Book, and The Case of Lena S. was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. In 2005, Bergen won the Giller Prize for The Time in Between. The Matter with Morris was shortlisted for the Giller Prize in 2010, won the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.