Paradises by Iosi Havilio


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.

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.
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