Carlos Gamerro

Carlos Gamerro b w web shot

It is the negative image of an autobiographical novel: the story of what did not happen to me but could have … you could say I have the conflict in my blood.

- Carlos Gamerro

Carlos Gamerro is one of the best-known and most highly-regarded contemporary Argentine writers. Born in Buenos Aires in 1962, he has published six works of fiction, including the novels The Islands (And Other Stories, 2012 UK and 2014 North American publication) and An Open Secret (Pushkin Press). And Other Stories will publish The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón in 2015. He adapted The Islands for a major theatrical production in 2011 and writes influential works of criticism. In addition Gamerro, who was brought up bilingually in English and Spanish, has translated Shakespeare, Auden, and Harold Bloom.

The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón


More information:

  • Translated by Ian Barnett
  • Published by And Other Stories in March 2015.
  • For PEN Atlas, Carlos Gamerro writes about Hamlet and the Disappeared .
  • Carlos Gamerro regularly visits the UK for readings. Sign up to our mailing list to find out more information.
  • This title was sent out to And Other Stories subscribers ahead of publication. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.

 Praise for The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón

  • ‘Some may feel that the armed militancy of the 1970s shouldn’t be the subject of knockabout comedy; others, that Eva Perón shouldn’t be a target for satire. But in its disection of operative myths and its demystification, The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón proposes an effective literary language for the purpose.’ Soledad Quereilhac, La Nación
  • ‘The more we laugh at the tragicomic hero Ernesto Marroné, this child of rigorous capitalism turned Montonero revolutionary, the more we empathise with Gamerro, the father of this child who is convinced he can apply the sermons of self-help manuals to breathe new life into the Revolution.’ Silvina Friera, Página
  • The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón is a Salman Rushdie-style retelling of a nation’s history from the recollections of an oddball individual, as Carlos Gamerro delves back into a vital passage of Argentina’s past from the skewed perspective of a man fundamentally unsuited to his own time. … The result is a comically charged and slyly satirical tale that strips away the high rhetoric of history and politics, and reveals the squabbling egos underneath.’ Ross McIndoe, The Skinny 
  • Finally, the novel’s translation deserves high praise. The collaborative effort between the bilingual Gamerro and Ian Barnett turns colorful Spanish prose into funny, distinctly British English that evokes the novel’s working-class bruisers and prim-and-proper business sharks with equal aptitude. Arthur Dixon, World Literature in Review
  • ‘[A] hilarious political satire … Carlos Gamerro provides a comical glimpse into a slice of Argentina’s political past. Here we have an entertaining, absorbing and thought-provoking piece of literature with a loveable protagonist.’ Dami Okhiria, Buzz
  • ‘[A] masterful work of comic fiction that opens up a fascinating period in international history. By aiming his barbs at all sides of the political spectrum, Carlos Gamerro exposes the inherent corruption of human nature. As the country becomes increasingly unstable, the chapters grow ever more surreal, culminating in a finale of glorious ridiculousness. This is the work of a master satirist and comes highly recommended.’ Booktrust
  • ‘Gamerro navigates extreme situations of war and and crime with a practiced hand and plenty of humor … With its eccentric mixture of politics, terror, domestic minutiae, and business rhetoric, the story of Marroné’s entrance to the guerrilla echelons is a biting commentary on Argentina’s Dirty War … a thorough probe at the uglier seams in society, and ultimately, the making of an unlikely hero, The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Peron is satire at its finest.’ Karen Rigby, Foreward Reviews
  • This is a bold and imaginative novel which deserves to be celebrated, a reminder that fiction can still take risks and provide the odd shock.’ Tom Cuell, Workshyfop
  • ‘A bombastic satire on 1970’s Argentina, following the exploits of Ernesto, procurement manager for a huge construction firm … Huge fun, laced with searing insights into the politics of the time.’ Lucinda, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights

The Islands


More information

  • Translated by Ian Barnett
  • Read an extract from the novel, as well as Carlos Gamerro’s hilarious and fantastical solution to this thorny issue here on Nowhereisland.
  • The Islands was published in English after it was discussed at the And Other Stories Spanish-language reading group in spring 2010. Readers loved its rambunctious energy and speculative sci-fi imaginings, as well as its depiction of the Falklands War.
  • Carlos Gamerro regularly visits the UK for readings. Sign up to our mailing list to find out more information.
  • This title was sent out to And Other Stories subscribers ahead of publication. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.

Praise for The Islands

  • ‘Carlos Gamerro has written one of the most ambitious novels about the war.’ Jonathan Blitzer, The Nation
  • ‘Gamerro picks history’s what-the-fuck moments, which when found in fiction are so strange as to knock the reader momentarily out of the imaginary world.’ Ben Bollig, The Guardian
  • ‘Exhilarating, inventive and consistently absorbing.’ Stuart Evers, The Guardian
  • ‘A bravura piece of writing, with a cinematic sweep, sustained drama, and pitch-perfect dialogue.’ Martin Schifino, The Independent 
  • ‘The reader is dragged headlong by Barnett’s athletic translation … a highly addictive comic voice, its peaks of hectic farce underlaid by a delicate, deadpan absurdism.’ Lorna Scott Fox, Times Literary Supplement
  • ‘A weird and wonderful thriller … rife with surreal horror and rampant bad taste.’ Anthony Cummins, The Observer
  • ‘A genre-bending book’ Anne McElvoy, BBC Radio 3, Night Waves
  • ‘A generational, landmark novel’ Andrew Graham Yooll, BBC Radio 3, Feature: Malvinas Madness
  • ‘A danger-laden, mind-bending and ultimately redemptive quest. […] There are more ideas here than most writers would fit in 10 novels.’ Tom Bunstead,  Independent on Sunday
  • ‘I urge you to find and read a copy of this important novel.’ Matthew Crockatt, Huffington Post UK
  • A complex and ambitious exploration of how history is memorialised’ Michael Sopp, The Literateur
  • ‘A dark and uproarious novel’ Untitled Books
  • Gamerro displays great lyricism in his descriptions of the land of la pampa. He has a poet’s touch on the visions and themes he explores throughout the story. It’s a triumph.’  Ed Hart, Sounds and Colours
  • ‘Capacious in its scope; substantial in its themes; fluid in its movements; piercing in its wit; gripping in its horror, astringent in its social critique; and heartbreaking in its rendering of human frailties.  Were it originally published in English, it would be a Booker Prize contender.’ Rod Jackman, Philadelphia Review of Books
  • ‘Gamerro’s balls-out novel is a delirious mash-up … [His] gross, bleakly funny, violence-saturated satire of a psychologically damaged society hung up on impossible myth relies on epic hyperbole, masterfully translated by Ian Barnett. There is enough invention here for four novels, but this multilayered nightmare vision is deftly rendered and devastating in its intensity.’ Siobhan Murphy, Metro [20 June 2012, not online]
  • ‘Incredible powerful, keeping me alert and uncomfortable and deeply engaged on multiple levels from the intellectual to the dramatic.’ Steve Himmer, Necessary Fiction
  • “The Islands is a gripping portrayal of both the tragic and tragicomic ways in which the Falkland Islands (a.k.a. Islas Malvinas) have sculpted the personal and national identities of Argentinians for generations.” Christopher C. Guide, Alibi

Praise for An Open Secret (Pushkin Press, 2011) in UK press

  • ‘Haunting and disturbing’ Lucy Popescu, The Independent
  • ‘A literary thriller that has the makings of a classic’ The Economist


Author of:
The Islands


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