Juxtaposing the grotesque and the banal, Aira builds a subtle satire about society’s draining effect on individuals.
The New Yorker

Was it a nightmare–the result of bad indigestion–or did something truly scary happen after dinner in the Argentine town of Coronel Pringles?

Dinner

Fiction by César Aira

Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

One Saturday night a bankrupt bachelor in his sixties and his mother dine with a wealthy friend. They discuss their endlessly connected neighbors. They talk about a mysterious pit that opened up one day, and the old bricklayer who sometimes walked to the cemetery to cheer himself up. Anxious to show off his valuable antiques, the host shows his guests old windup toys and takes them to admire an enormous doll. Back at home, the bachelor decides to watch some late night TV before retiring. The news quickly takes a turn for the worse as, horrified, the newscaster finds herself reporting about the dead rising from their graves, leaving the cemetery, and sucking the blood of the living—all somehow disturbingly reminiscent of the dinner party.

Editions: PaperbackEbook

Buy from:

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published October 6, 2015)

ISBN
9780811221085
Price US
13.95
Price CN
16.95
Trim Size
5 x 7
Page Count
96

Ebook (published October 6, 2015)

ISBN
9780811221092

César Aira

Argentine author

Juxtaposing the grotesque and the banal, Aira builds a subtle satire about society’s draining effect on individuals.
The New Yorker
Aira has crafted a beautiful, unclassifiable, funny, and deeply unsettling book.
—Sebastian Boensch, The Miami Rail
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
It seems that the dead are rising from their graves on a “cadaverous march” — thousands of them feasting on the living in scenes of grisly violence. Since this is a novel by the wildly imaginative (and prolific) Argentine writer César Aira, that means that the outlandish plot turn will prove meaningful rather than gratuitous.
—Carmela Ciuraru, The New York Times
Humor goes from surface to bottom of Dinner.
—Jeff Bursey, The Quarterly Conversation
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
Aira’s works are like slim cabinets of wonder, full of unlikely juxtapositions. His unpredictability is masterful.
—Rivka Galchen, Harper’s