Paradises by Iosi Havilio

Paradises

Iosi Havilio

What struck me most about this story set in present day Buenos Aires was the passivity of its young female narrator whose life appears to be a series of interactions with characters from the fringes of society. Yet this is not a depressing read; I was drawn to a woman who, though lacking any moral compass, could make me smile with her wryly humorous observations.

Extract

Today I returned to work after four years. A bit more, a bit less, it doesn't matter, just to make it a round number. All that time I had no serious, formal occupation, or even an informal one, no boss, no rotas, no wage. Without fully realising or feeling guilty about it, allowing the days and the countryside to lead me. There, people work without appearing to, either because they do nothing else or because they do nothing, quite the opposite of the city. I go back to work and in some part of me, through contagion, through defiance, I feel as stupid as I do proud, depending on the moment, generally more the former than the latter.

Parallels
  • Friends of Mine by Ángela Pradelli
  • No Place for Heroes by Laura Restrepo

Books with similar mood

Chasing Moneymaker

David Masiel

The Hoarder

Jess Kidd

Hand in the Fire

Hugo Hamilton

The Descendants

Kaui Hart Hemmings

Blood and Ice

Robert Masello

Human Croquet

Kate Atkinson

Then We Came to the End

Joshua Ferris

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

Elisabeth Robinson

Who is Mr Satoshi?

Jonathan Lee

Freak of Nature

Phil Whitaker

The Rival Queens

Fidelis Morgan

Sketcher

Roland Watson-Grant

The Rules of Seeing

Joe Heap

Tigerman

Nick Harkaway

My Friend Jesus Christ

Lars Husum

Nimrod's Shadow

Chris Paling

The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

Marina Lewycka

Crooked Heart

Lissa Evans

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

Patrick Ness

Y

Marjorie Celona

The Incomers

Moira McPartlin

Daniel O'Thunder

Ian Weir

Mr Toppit

Charles Elton

Patrick Robertson

Brian Hennigan

The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse

Robert Rankin

At the Crossing-places

Kevin Crossley-Holland

The Dope Priest

Nicholas Blincoe

The Ventriloquist's Tale

Pauline Melville

Fifty Ways of Saying Fabulous

Graeme Aitken

Odin's Island

Janne Teller

Boxer, Beetle

Ned Beauman

The Restoration of Otto Laird

Nigel Packer

Anatomy of a Disappearance

Hisham Matar

Perfect Lives

Polly Samson

Home Boy

H M Naqvi

Elliot Allagash

Simon Rich

The Earth Hums in B Flat

Mari Strachan

The Dovecote

Stephanie Dummler

Where Were You Robert?

Hans Enzensberger

Pelikan

David Lozell Martin

The Waterproof Bible

Andrew Kaufman

The Bird Room

Chris Killen

By George

Wesley Stace

Barking

Tom Holt

Hide and Seek

Clare Sambrook

Adios Hemingway

Leonardo Fuentes

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Becky Chambers

The Girl Who Could Move Sh*t With Her Mind

Jackson Ford