REVIEW by Michael Nott

NWR Issue 105

Talking to Ourselves

by Andrés Neuman (trans Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia)

Talking to Ourselves, Andrés Neuman’s second book to be translated into English – exquisitely, in fact, by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia – is both an intimate meditation on mortality and bereavement and an ambitious and intricate narrative collage. It is, in short, an impressive achievement.

At first the premise of the novel seems straightforward – the terminally ill Mario, his wife Elena, and their ten-year-old son Lito, in turns narrate their perspective of the events preceding Mario’s death: centrally, the road-trip on which Mario takes Lito through an ambiguous and mystical Latin American landscape. Each narrative takes a different format: Elena, whose frank voice comes to dominate the novel, writes in the form of a diary, the later entries addressed to the deceased Mario, an idea she encounters in her reading of letters sent between Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper...

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previous review: Marlford
next review: The Time Regulation Institute


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