When her partner disappears, a young veterinary assistant drifts from the city towards Open Door, a small town in the 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 – and tells it in unexpected ways.
- Open Door was read in the And Other Stories Spanish-language Reading Group summer 2010, after being suggested in the previous reading cycle by Paula Porroni.
- Iosi Havilio’s intriguing interview in Latineos (in English).
- Iosi Havilio regularly travels to the UK for readings. Join our mailing list to find out more information.
- If you subscribed to And Other Stories before this book’s publication, you would have received one of the limited number stamped, early copies of it and 3 other And Other Stories 2011 titles. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
Praise for Iosi Havilio
- ‘Look out for Open Door by the much-praised Iosi Havilio.’ Boyd Tonkin, The Independent
- ‘Iosi Havilio’s remarkable first novel brings news of an intriguing world’ Martin Schifino, The Independent
- ‘With minimalist beauty and exquisite strangeness, Iosi Havilio offers a mesmerising addition to the literature of solitude.’ Chloe Aridjis
- ‘An ambiguous tale that verges on dark comedy … With skill and subtlety, the novel hints that a whole society might labour under an illusion of liberty.’ The Economist
- ‘Deliberately unshowy, so that plot twists can unfold in the quietest ways.’ Fatema Ahmed, Prospect
- ‘There is a lot of sex and violence in Open Door, but it is never gratuitous. … You have in your hands a masterpiece.’ Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
- ‘A moving and highly original novel. A good translation is one that convinces as a work in its own right. That is what we get here.’ Margaret Jull Costa, In Other Words (journal of the British Centre for Literary Translation)
- ‘Havilio handles the narrator’s listlessness with remarkable dexterity and maintains the reader’s attention throughout … a novel which will flourish under many re-readings.’ Annabella Massey, Cadaverine
- ‘Open Door really surprised me, it doesn’t obey any of the laws of reading, it feels like it sprang out of nowhere.’ Beatriz Sarlo, Perfil
- ‘Open Door is not a choral novel but a series of solitary songs sung in intimate keys. It contains a tale to mull over, a story not easy to forget.’ El País
- ‘Living, some say, is much easier than thinking about life. This seems to be the almost unconscious guiding force that drives the heroine of Open Door, Iosi Havilio’s first book; a sober, restrained novel through which his mature craft shines.’ Susana Rosana, Clarín
- ‘His opera prima touches nerves in the literature and history of his country, themes such as absence, identity and the conflict between city and country; but the style is unusual, a virtuoso display of muted prose. [...] Havilio may well be an attentive reader of Camus: a barely lyrical phrase such as ‘‘I flop onto my back in the grass and the sky renders me speechless’’ recalls The Outsider. [...] The internal variety, the technical command, the originality of the setting and the freshness of the voice are all worthy of mention.’ Martin Schifino. Revista del Libro
- ‘Open Door is a confusing, bewildering, riveting book; a paen, of sorts, to both the pursuit of solitude and the futility of that pursuit.’ Eleutherophobia