Lucas, an underemployed Argentinian writer, takes a day trip to Montevideo to withdraw some money and meet a woman, but things don’t go as expected. Pedro Mairal’s novel is short, but accomplishes much, providing a rich portrait of a place, a character study, and twisty plot, all delivered at a brisk pace. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
From acclaimed Argentine author Pedro Mairal and Man Booker International-winning translator Jennifer Croft, the unforgettable story of two would-be lovers over the course of a single day.
Lucas Pereyra, an unemployed writer in his forties, embarks on a trip from Buenos Aires to Montevideo to pick up fifteen thousand dollars in cash. An advance on his upcoming novel, this small fortune might be the solution to all his problems, most importantly the recent tension he has with his wife. While she spends her days at work and her nights out on the town — with a lover, perhaps, he doesn’t know for sure — Lucas is stuck at home all day caring for his son Maiko, unable to write, fantasizing about the one thing that keeps him going: the woman from Uruguay whom he met at a conference and has been longing to see ever since.
But Magalí Guerra Zabala, the woman from Uruguay, is a free spirit with her own goals and concerns, and the day they spend together in this beautiful city on the beach winds up being nothing like Lucas predicted.
The constantly surprising, moving story of this dramatically transformative day in their lives, The Woman from Uruguay is both a gripping narrative and a tender, thought-provoking exploration of the nature of relationships. An international bestseller published in fourteen countries, it is the masterpiece of one of the most original voices in Latin American literature today.
“A perfect novel. A triumph from beginning to end. The novel’s style, that carries the soft irony of a writer in command of his narrative voice, its extension, its verbal prowess, its impeccably paced rhythm and, of course, the theme: a marital crisis written from the perspective of an Argentine man in his mid forties who is facing an existential crisis.” El Pais (Spain)
“Into this brief novel, Mairal fits the humor and pain of being human, especially male, fully on display. In vivid prose that turns grotesque moments sublime... this is a luminous and witty work of literary fiction.” Booklist (starred review)
“Beautifully written and translated, The Woman from Uruguay is a work of exquisite style, shrewd philosophical insight, and deftly controlled suspense. A searing tale of seduction and betrayal, both wryly comic and deeply serious.” Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend and What Are You Going Through
“The Woman from Uruguay is at once a picaresque comedy and a penetrating study of a man on the verge of middle age who is trying to deal with fatherhood, money, marriage and love. Lucas's vivid presence in this book is created by his rich way of observing the world. As he travels from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, over seventeen hours, a whole world comes into being, a complex sensibility gets dramatized.” Colm Toibin, author of Brooklyn and The Magician
About the Author
Pedro Mairal is one of Argentina’s most beloved writers. He has been awarded the Premio Clarín and included in the Hay Festival’s Bogotá 39 list, which named the thirty-nine best Latin American authors under forty. He lives in Buenos Aires.
Jennifer Croft was awarded the Man Booker International Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist for her translation of Flights. She is the author of the acclaimed memoir Homesick and has published work in The New York Times, VICE, and elsewhere