Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Review: Birthday, by César Aira

Birthday, by César Aira. Published 2019 by New Directions. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.

As many of you may know, César Aira is one of my favorite authors; why, then, do I have nearly a half dozen of his books sitting unread on my shelves. I don't know. But I now I have one less.

Birthday starts with the narrator's ruminations on his 50th birthday and goes from there into typically Aira-esque diversions into literature, writing and life. He circles back around to aging by the end. In between he talks about a chance encounter with a young writer, his feelings on philosophy and Pringles, his hometown in Argentina, and other things. 

The narrator is, as usual, a nameless resident of Pringles, married with a child this time, and a successful writer in midlife struggling with all these things. I hesitate to write too much, because the book itself is so short that I could really take away the joy of reading Aira by telling you more. 

So if you haven't read him, please do; Birthday is a pretty good starting point, pretty typical and pretty approachable. I recommend picking up two copies and giving one to a friend, so you have someone to talk to after you're done. Maybe you could read this and talk to me about it? 

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

No comments: