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The Famous Magician

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A certain writer (past sixty, enjoying 'a certain renown') strolls through the old book market in a Buenos Aires park: My Sunday walk through the market, repeated over so many years, was part of my general fantasizing about books. Unfortunately, he is suffering from writer's block. However, that proves to be the least of our hero's problems. In the market, he fails to avoid the insufferable boor Ovando--a complete loser but a man supremely full of himself: Conceit was never less justified. And yet... is Ovando actually for real?  Can he actually turn sugar cubes into pure gold? And can our protagonist decline the offer Ovando proposes granting him absolute power if the writer never in his life reads another book? 

Only César Aira could have cooked up this witch's potion—a brew bubbling over with the question: where does literature end and magic begin?

48 pages. Hardcover.

About the Author

César Aira is perhaps one of the most prolific writers and translators in Argentina, and certainly one of the most talked about in Latin America. Besides essays and novels Aira writes regularly for the Spanish newspaper El País. In addition to winning the 2021 Formentor Prize, he has received a Guggenheim scholarship, and was shortlisted for the Rómulo Gallegos prize and the Booker International Prize. He has lived in Buenos Aires since 1967.

Chris Andrews was born in Newcastle, Australia, in 1962. He studied at the University of Melbourne and taught there, in the French program, from 1995 to 2008. He also taught at the University of Western Sydney, where he was a member of the Writing and Society Research Center. As well as translating nine books by Roberto Bolano and ten books (and counting) by César Aira, he also brought the French author Kaouther Adimi's Our Riches into English for New Directions.