Summary: In 1938, as Samuel Berkow's tramp steamer from Germany approaches Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, he is full of hope that he will be able to remake his life in the new world. Part character study and part riveting narrative of a German Jew escaping the Nazis, this novel provides its own mix of Franz Kafka, Joseph Conrad, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine, as Samuel stumbles to get his footing in a hostile setting. David Ungerwas born in Guatemala City in 1950 and now lives in Brooklyn, NY ...show more. He is the author of two previous novels and a story collection. He has translated sixteen books into English, including works by Nicanor Parra, Silvia Molina, Elena Garro, Barbara Jacobs, Mario Benedetti, and Rigoberta Menchu. He is considered one of Guatemala's major living writers even though he writes exclusively in English.