The Divorce tells about a recently divorced man on vacation in Buenos Aires. One afternoon he encounters a series of the most magical coincidences. While sitting at an outdoor café, absorbed in conversation with a talented video artist, he sees a young man riding by on a bicycle get thoroughly drenched by a downpour of water—seemingly from rain caught the night before in the overhead awning. The video artist knows the cyclist, who knew a mad hermetic sculptor whose family used to take the Hindu God Krishna for walks in the neighborhood. As the coincidences continue to add up, the stories concerning each new connection weave reality with the absurd until they reach a final, brilliant, cataclysmic ending.
We come full circle, to the ‘delicate machine’ that put everything in motion. In someone else’s hands, this might feel like a trick, but in Aira’s it is magical.
—Sheila Glaser, New York Times Book Review
[A] fleeting glance at the deeply strange multitudes living in Aira’s mind palace…marked by not only his characteristically expressive language, but also his willingness to go just about anywhere with a narrative.
This prismatic, exquisitely rendered work is from a master at the height of his powers.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Sui generis is really the only way to accurately describe César Aira. He’s by turns a realist, a magical realist and a surrealist — and therefore not really any of them. Anything can happen in an Aira novel, and almost everything does.