Ghosts

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Click for availability and more information Ghosts, by César Aira
 
Aira is an Argentine author, who enjoys considerable celebrity in his own country, but remains relatively unknown in the US. Ghosts, a mere 139 pages in length, is the story of an enclave of mostly Chilean immigrant laborers and their relatives, who are brought together by construction work at the site of future condominiums for the affluent in Buenos Aires. The entire story takes place on New Year's Eve and the weather is swelteringly hot. The eponymous ghosts are mostly peripheral to the action but invoke the magical realism of other Latino authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Isabelle Allende, albeit in a more muted manner. One charmingly whimsical passage describes the alcoholic construction foreman's discovery that cheap wine can be cooled and converted to a vintage fit for the table of the very rich by inserting a bottle into the thorax of any of the ghosts in the vicinity. Patri, the book's central character, is a dreamy adolescent girl of 15 whose fascination with the spectral inhabitants of the site ultimately brings the book to its abrupt denouement.
-David

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This page contains a single entry published on December 17, 2009 6:26 PM.

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