The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof

César Aira

New novellas from Aira are always a cause for celebration.

Brian Evenson, Big Other

Two completely different novellas by the inimitable César Aira

The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof

by César Aira

Translated from Spanish by Nick Caistor

The Little Buddhist Monk is a story of Asian invention gone wild, as a diminutive Korean Buddhist monk acts as a tour guide to an increasingly distraught French couple on a working vacation in the Far East.

The Proof brings us quickly back to the West, where two punks, plus a new recruit (“Wannafuck?”is the opening line as the two punk lesbians accost the chubby and shy Marcia on a quiet street in Buenos Aires), take control of a local supermarket with dire consequences for the hostages. These two fast-paced, edgy works are as different as night and day. Nevertheless—as well as sex, identity, and modern-day economics figuring deeply in both—deep currents connect the two novellas: our little Buddhist monk remarks, “I told you it was easy. When something is easy, it is completely easy. But no one believes it. Not even the proof convinces them.”

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Portrait of César Aira

César Aira

Argentine author

New novellas from Aira are always a cause for celebration.

Brian Evenson, Big Other

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

South America’s answer to Haruki Murakami.

Andrew Irvin, The Miami Harold

Uncanny imagination à la Calvino.

Laura Pearson, The Chicago Tribune

Irreverent inventiveness … without analogue in contemporary literature.

Megan Doll, The San Francisco Chronicle

César Aira is wild. The laws of gravity do not apply.

James S. A. Correy, The Denver Post