Synopses & Reviews
A debut novel of seduction and madness, hate and love, set in the world of Argentine academia and animated by the spirits of Wittgenstein, Rousseau, Nabokov and Bolaño
Rosa Ostreech, a pseudonym for the novel’s beautiful but self-conscious narrator, carries around a trilingual edition of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, struggles with her thesis on violence and culture, sleeps with a bourgeois former guerrilla, and pursues her elderly professor with a highly charged blend of eroticism and desperation. Elsewhere on campus, Pabst and Kamtchowsky tour the underground scene of Buenos Aires, dabbling in ketamine, group sex, video games, and hacking. And in Africa in 1917, a Dutch anthropologist named Johan van Vliet begins work on a theory that explains human consciousness and civilization by reference to our early primate ancestors—animals, who, in the process of becoming human, spent thousands of years as prey.
Savage Theories wryly explores fear and violence, war and sex, eroticism and philosophy. Its complex and flawed characters grapple with a mess of impossible, visionary theories, searching for their place in our fragmented digital world.
“Pola Oloixarac’s prose is the great event of the new Argentinian narrative. Her novel is unforgettable, philosophical and very serene.” Ricardo Piglia, author of Target in the Night
“[A] transgressive novel of revolution, desire, and academia…Savage Theories compels with its energetic characters, and the seamless blend of desire and theorizing is contagious on both fronts.”
Words Without Borders
“Philosophy gets sexy in Pola Oloixarac’s Savage Theories.” Vanity Fair
“[An] exuberant blend of political satire and sexual picaresque. This book rewards total immersion: Come for the inevitable Borges allusions, stay for the wild ride.” The New York Times Book Review
“A radical, bitingly funny debut novel offers a veritable hurricane of ideas on topics from technology to anthropology and features parallel arcs, one involving a student obsessed with her professor and the other about a couple cruising the Buenos Aires underground.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“A stunning vibrant maximalist whirlwind of a novel. Oloixarac’s wit and ambition are evident on every page. By comparison, most other contemporary fiction seems a little dull and simple-minded.” Hari Kunzru, author of Gods Without Men
“While there are echoes of Borges and Bolaño here, the synthesis of ideas and the manic intelligence are wholly new. Brilliant, original, and very fun to read.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
About the Author
Pola Oloixarac is a fiction writer and essayist. Her novels, Savage Theories and Dark Constellations, have been translated into seven languages. Her writing has appeared in n+1, The White Review, The New York Times, and Granta, which named her to its list of Best Young Spanish Novelists. She wrote the libretto for the opera Hercules in Mato Grosso, which debuted at Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colón and was staged at New York City’s Dixon Place. She lives in San Francisco, where she’s completing a PhD at Stanford University. Savage Theories is her first novel to appear in English.