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The novel moves erratically, never quite landing where you think, and as mysterious subplot after subplot is introduced, one may be forgiven for suspecting that Aira is playing a joke at the expense of the reader, but in his masterful hands, ambiguity eventually builds to order, mystery to revelation, and every digression turns out to have a purpose.

Publishers Weekly

When a Mapuche chief suddenly goes missing, a British naturalist is asked to find him in the vast Argentine pampas

The Hare

Fiction by César Aira

translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor

Clarke is a nineteenth-century English naturalist who roams the pampas in search of an elusive animal: the Legibrerian hare, whose defining quality seems to be its ability to fly. The local tribesmen, pointing skyward, tell him about recent sightings of the hare, but then they ask Clarke to help them search for their missing chief, as well. On further investigation Clarke finds more than meets the eye: in the Mapuche and Voroga languages every word has at least two meanings.

Witty, very ironic, and with all the usual Airian digressive magic, The Hare offers subtle reflections on love, Victorian-era colonialism, and the many ambiguities of language.

published July 25th, 2013
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