Emar has no precedents, and no equals.

César Aira

An astonishing collection of short stories by one of the most daring prose experimentalists of the 20th century

Available Aug, 13 2024


Fiction by Juan Emar

Translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell

With a contribution by César Aira

A taxidermied parrot, insulted by a stodgy uncle, comes violently alive and batters the poor fool to death with its beak. A terrible tyrant, Zar Palemón, presides over grotesque ritualized sex acts in his court—which is itself contained in a demonic gemstone the size of a fist. And deep in the Andes, in a hidden cave, an unremarkable house cat waits to trap its hapless victim with a Gorgon’s gaze and engage him in a staring contest on which the fate of the cosmos just might depend.

Such are a few of the bizarre adventures found within Juan Emar’s mindbending collection of short stories, Ten. Allegory? Parody? Horror? Surrealism? Yes to all, and none of the above: where lesser writers mark their endpoint, the unclassifiable Juan Emar jumps off, straight into the deep end. Life is far from still in Emar’s world, where statues come alive, gaseous vampires stalk, and our hopes and fears materialize in a web of shocking interconnections unified by twisted logic and crystalline prose.

Now, Ten is available in English for the first time, deftly translated by Megan McDowell and with an introduction by César Aira, who writes: “Emar has neither precedents nor equals; his echoes and affinities—Lautréamont, Macedonio Fernández, Gombrowicz—flow from his readers’ own inclinations.” Byzantine and vivid, intricate and bizarre, this quiver of shorts by Chile’s most idiosyncratic mad genius of literature will leave readers astounded for decades to come.

Paperback(published Aug, 13 2024)

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Portrait of Juan Emar

Juan Emar

Chilean writer

Emar has no precedents, and no equals.

César Aira

Weird and charming.

Hanson O'Haver, The Nation

Originally published in 1937, this collection by Emar (1893-1964) arrived at the height of the Modernist movement; his eeriness and fluid, satirical approach to storytelling put him in league with better-known European and North American contemporaries. Indeed, his work seemed to anticipate the elliptical style that would make Borges world famous...Offbeat yarns from a sui generis author.

Kirkus Reviews