Iosi Havilio



By Paula McGrath.

If in recent times the ‘literary’ novel has polarised into two distinct types — the expansive, all-encompassing Jonathan Franzen kind, and the other, more modest variety, slim volumes of spare, detatched prose, like Ben Lerner‘s Leaving The Atocha StationParadises belongs firmly to the latter. It follows an episodic structure, and this, combined with the uncomplicated sentence structure of its first person, present tense prose, makes it deceptive in its apparent simplicity.

Paradises opens a few years after Iosi Havilio‘s earlier novel Open Door ends, and follows its unnamed, recently widowed protagonist as she moves with her four year old son, Simón, from rural Open Door to Buenos Aires. Chapter by chapter, she finds accommodation, employment, meets an array of misfits, parties, sometimes takes care of, sometimes neglects Simon, considers participating in a robbery, and other somewhat random situations.

Wanted: reviewer for Iosi Havilio


We’re looking someone to review Paradises by Iosi Havilio (published by And Other Stories), for gorse online. We can’t pay a fortune, but there is a small fee for reviews. If interested, please get in touch: info[at]gorse[dot]ie. We have a reviewer.

From an interview with Iosi Havilio:

Do you believe in Ricardo’s Piglia’s assertion that “All great literature is political”?

Of course, either by action or by omission. In fact I believe that the best political literature is the one that doesn’t speak of politics. Just as the best love stories don’t need to speak about sentiments.