Iosi Havilio: Open Door
Chair: Maya Jaggi
An acclaimed new literary voice from Argentina, Iosi Havilio came to Jewish Book Week to discuss his first novel Open Door, an atmospheric tale of solitude that has been likened to Albert Camus’s L’Etranger.
When her partner disappears, a young veterinary assistant drifts from the city towards Open Door, a small town in the Argentinean Pampas named after its psychiatric hospital. Embarking on a new life in the country, she finds herself living with an ageing ranch-hand and courted by an official investigating her partner's disappearance. She might settle down, although a local girl is also irresistible ...This evocative, atmospheric book makes a quiet case for the possibility of finding contentment in unexpected places, with unexpected people.
Iosi Havilio was born in Buenos Aires in 1974. Open Door is his first novel. His second novel is Estocolmo (Stockholm, 2010), and he is currently working on a novel that follows on from Open Door. He has become a cult author in Argentina after Open Door was highly praised by the outspoken and influential writer Rodolfo Fogwill and by the most influential Argentine critic, Beatriz Sarlo.
Maya Jaggi is a longstanding profile writer and critic for the Guardian Review, and also writes for Financial Times, the Independent, the Economist and Newsweek, and contributes to the BBC. She chairs the jury of this year’s Man Asian Literary Prize in Hong Kong, and has judged awards including the Orange Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen prize. Her award-winning cultural journalism and criticism gained her an honorary doctorate from The Open University in 2012.
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