César Aira

The Linden Tree

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

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The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor

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Ema, the Captive

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

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Dinner

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

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Conversations

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

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Shantytown

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

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The Hare

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor

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The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

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Varamo

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

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The Seamstress and the Wind

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Rosalie Knecht

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The Literary Conference

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

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Ghosts

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

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How I Became a Nun

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

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An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

With a contribution by Roberto Bolaño

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Playing with recycled images, stretching tired tropes until they deform, Aira is fascinated by how defining and describing reality, however absurdly, can end up creating a new reality in that image.

Bookforum

New novellas from Aira are always a cause for celebration.

—Brian Evenson

With many prolific writers it’s a case of diminishing returns. César Aira, who’s published over eighty books with more to come, is an exception, his open-ended, genre trespassing novellas attesting to his peculiar virtuosity.

—John Madera, Big Other

Ema, the Captive creates a world that boldly asks us to rebel against convention, while seeking alternative avenues of thought.”

ZYZZYVA

Aira’s crossings (of temporality, genre, aesthetic language) are always surprising, captivating; they make us seek out formulas to describe their effects. Critics try to do so constantly. But Aira is always moving on to some other place, safe from any category.

4Columns

A first reaction to this virtuosic confection is to delight in its cascade of images and the sheer craziness of a roller-coaster sequence of events that all seem so plausible. César Aira, an Argentine writer of fiction and literary criticism, is the obvious heir to Jorge Luis Borges. Along with a daring sense of fun, Aira has a playful imagination and the ability to spin a yarn as intricate as a spider’s web.

—Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

César Aira is the undisputed master of the short philosophical novel—and he manages to churn out a new one every few years. Like all of his books, Ema the Captive is an ideal place to start reading Aira. This story of an Argentinian woman’s time as a captive concubine is a powerful novel worth reading ASAP.

—Lucas Iberico Lozada, Paste Magazine

Aira’s novel delivers a truly unique contribution to literature.

—Diego Baez, Booklist

Aira’s literature is but a parody of inventiveness, and at its core is an amazing degree of penetrating and unrelenting critical reflexivity.

—Nicolás Guagnini, Artforum

His novels are eccentric clones of reality, where the lights are brighter, the picture is sharper and everything happens at the speed of thought…. You don’t know where you are or what you are looking at, but the air is full of electricity.

The Millions

Aira’s works are dense, unpredictable confections delivered in a plain, stealthily lyrical style capable of accommodating his fondness for mixing metaphysics, realism, pulp fiction, and Dadaist incongruities.

—Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books

Aira has crafted a beautiful, unclassifiable, funny, and deeply unsettling book.

—Sebastian Boensch, The Miami Rail

The Argentine writer so niftily makes metaphysical Frisbees of the stories in this collection they seem to take flight by the power of whimsy alone.

The Boston Globe

Dinner is far more intelligent than your average zombie tale…Aira adds extra depth to what lies just beneath the surface.

—Jessica Loudis, The Times Literary Supplement

The stories here do have a life of their own, and it is a life offering much surprise, much humor, much brilliance of observation and invention, but little in the way of even momentary consolation. They summon up a genie who can do everything but fulfill our wishes.

—Geoffrey O’Brien, NYRB

Aira’s output has been a steady trickly of irrefutable genius and deepening strangeness.

Publishers Weekly

Aira will put knots in your brain.

—Ben Raitliff, The New York Times Book Review

An excellent place to encounter the indefatigable Aira’s logic-defying brilliance for the first time.

Publishers Weekly

Everything in Aira has that Mad Scientist feel to it

—The Millions

Aira’s works are like slim cabinets of wonder, full of unlikely juxtapositions. His unpredictability is masterful.

—Rivka Galchen, Harper’s

César Aira is an exquisite miniaturist who toys with avant-garde techniques.

The Wall Street Journal

Outlandish B-movie fantasies are all part of the game. His best-known works are nonsensically hysterical.

—Marcela Valdez, NPR Books

Utterly astonishing.

San Francisco Chronicle

I get so absorbed by an Aira novel that upon finishing I don’t remember anything. It’s like having a complex cinematic dream that dissipates upon awakening.

—Patti Smith

Dense, unpredictable confections delivered in a plain, stealthily lyrical style capable of accommodating his fondness for mixing metaphysics, realism, pulp fiction, and Dadaist incongruities.

—Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books

Here’s my request [to New Directions]: give us something written on this side of the 20th century – after Argentina experienced its 2001 economic collapse … I want to see Aira process a society unhinged and chaotic – you know, like ours is right now. My suggestion: Shantytown, an absurdist rending of life in a downtown Buenos Aires Hooverville.

—Joey Rubin, The Argentina Independent

A strange and arresting novel. Aira is firmly in the tradition of Borges and W.G. Sebald, those great late modernists for whom fiction was a theater of ideas.

—Mark Doty, Los Angeles Times

What makes Episode so astonishing is the language as translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. Not from Aira do we get the Borges soft shoe. We get instead a supercharged Céline, writing with a Star Wars laser sword, turning Don Quixote into Picasso.

—John Leonard, Harper’s

Aira is one of the most provocative and idiosyncratic novelists working in Spanish today, and should not be missed.

—Natasha Wimmer, The New York Times

To love the novels of César Aira you must have a taste for the absurd, a tolerance for the obscurely philosophical, and a willingness to laugh out loud against your better judgment.

—Marcela Valdes, NPR Reviews

Depending on how you read it, this is either a taut noir crime novel or a searing portrait of Buenos Aires’ poverty-stricken people. Either way, it’s compelling stuff.

Booklist

Aira’s literary significance, like that of many other science fiction writers, comes from how he pushes us to question the porous line between fact and fantasy, to see it not only as malleable in history, but also blurred in the everyday. The engrossing power of his work, though, comes from how he carries out these feats: with the inexhaustible energy and pleasure of a child chasing after imaginary enemies in the park.

Los Angeles Review of Books

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

Aira’s refusal to make any occurrence definitive gives the world depicted in the novel an element of the absurd. The result can be as frustrating as it is liberating. Whether or not Clarke ultimately catches sight of the hare is beside the point. Even if he found it, we’d soon discover that, maybe, after all, he didn’t. Or that it wasn’t a hare at all.

The Daily Beast

You’ll find there are few adventures more outrageous, and more unsettling, than this cowboy chase through the pampas in search of the white rabbit.

—Marcela Valdes, NPR

César Aira’s is a fine short book, imaginative and entertaining, but finally and essentially, it’s not about the size, it’s about the transmogrified truths, the art of the prose and its necessity.

Bookslut

César Aira’s novels are the narrative equivalent of the Exquisite Corpse, that Surrealist parlor game in which players add to drawings or stories without knowledge of previous or subsequent additions. Wildly heterogeneous elements are thrown together, and the final result never fails to surprise and amuse.

The Millions

The book is structured around a series of chance encounters, while also giving Aira some asides on broader concepts like the nature of perception, the promises of narrative form, and human thought.

Publishers Weekly

Each element Aira draws our attention to is placed into sharp focus before being discussed in short, entertaining digressions.

The National

The brilliance lies in the way it treads this tightrope without ever revealing the central mystery, and without relaxing the tension.

The Nation

In plain but meandering prose, Aira winds his off-kilter narrative into a metafictional loop in which Varamo, who has never written before, accidentally crafts a literary masterpiece.

Critical Mob

Aira’s humorous writing style is absurd yet always ironic, simple in logic yet increasingly mystifying in message.

The Harvard Crimson

…a sprint through multiple bizarre situations, a few philosophical digressions, a charming light-heartedness, and exquisite sentences.

The Rumpus

Varamo, like all the Aira books in translation, is charming and infuriating, built of plain prose that blooms without warning into carbuncular visions;

—Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

The book teems with delightful, off-the-cuff metaphysical speculation.

—Giles harvey, The New Yorker

The eccentricity of plot here is its own pleasure, but the slow, carefully written digressions it enfolds are what make the work such extravagant fun.

The Coffin Factory

An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter’s mere 87 pages are so multi-faceted and transporting and I get so absorbed that upon finishing I don’t remember anything. Like having a complex cinematic dream that dissipates upon awakening.

—Patti Smith, The New York Times Book Review

Aira is a manifestly gifted writer who may find writing all too easy a job.

—*Quarterly Conversation *

If there is one contemporary writer who defies classification, it is César Aira.

—Roberto Bolaño

Once you’ve started reading Aira, you don’t want to stop.

—Roberto Bolaño

Aira is one of the most provocative and idiosyncratic novelists working in Spanish today and should not be missed.

—Natasha Wimmer, The New York Times
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