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Within the world of Labb 's fiction, The Murmuration
can be understood as a continuation and broadening, a shift toward a more explicit expression of the political project signaled in his early work and a doubling-down on the formal playfulness and elusive sensibility that characterize all of his fiction. Popular forms and genres (from science fiction and journalism in Navidad & Matanza
to detective fiction in Loquela
to pop music and protest movements in Spiritual Choreographies
) have always been integral to Labb 's novels, and with The Murmuration he makes his most direct appeal to the masses yet, engaging the world of professional soccer.
With the 1962 World Cup in Chile as the focal point, Labb builds a narrative that is at once a story of intrigue and action and an exploration of ideas that animate the late-capitalist discourse of our current moment (e.g. class warfare, feminism, political representation, and social justice). What emerges is a novel that enacts--in form and content--the notion that art can only transcend the cages of tradition and convention, of colonialism and global capitalism, of systemic exploitation and extractive politics through collective creative action.