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Two completely different stories by the inimitable César Aira
The Little Buddhist Monk is a story of Asian invention gone wild, as a diminutive Korean Buddhist monk acts as a tour guide to an increasingly distraught French couple on a working vacation in the Far East. The Proof brings us quickly back to the West, where two punks, plus a new recruit (“Wannafuck?” is the opening line as the two punk lesbians accost the chubby and shy Marcia on a quiet street in Buenos Aires), take control of a local supermarket with dire consequences for the hostages. These two Aira works are as different as night and day. Nevertheless, sex, identity, and modern day economics figure deeply in both of these fast-paced, edgy fictions.
About the Author
Nominated for a Neustadt award and the Man Booker International Prize, César Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949. He has published at least one hundred books and recently created a limited edition, “Valise,” for the Museum of Modern Art, NYC.
Nick Caistor is a translator, editor, and author. He has written a biography of Octavio Paz and has translated the works of José Saramago, Paulo Coelho, and Julián Ríos, among others.
New novellas from Aira are always a cause for celebration. — Brian Evenson
Irreverent inventiveness … without analogue in
contemporary literature. — Megan Doll
imagination à la Calvino. — Laura Pearson
Cesar Aira is wild. The laws of gravity
do not apply. — James S.A. Correy
South America’s answer to Haruki Murakami. — Andrew Irvin
delivers one surreal unraveling of
reality after another that proceeds paradox by paradox into psychic realms. — Michael Upchurch
Aira continues to surprise and delight in
his latest release from New Directions, which collects two
novellas...There are a number of similarities to be sure—they both
revolve around the sudden but intense relationship between three
characters, they both take place over the course of less than
twenty-four hours, they are both, at turns, wildly funny. — The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
novels parody narrative form,
destroy normal cause and effect, and contain bold conceptual dialogues. — Michael Eaude