Haroldo Conti was born in the province of Buenos Aires in 1925. He studied at a Salesian school and a Jesuit seminary before graduating with a degree in philosophy from the University of Buenos Aires. In his professional life, Conti was variously employed as an actor, bank clerk, Latin teacher and screenwriter.
Conti was arrested in his apartment after the military coup of 1976, and is currently included on the list of permanently disappeared. After the publication of Southeaster in 1962, he went on to write three more novels as well as several short story collections. He is the recipient of several important literary prizes, including the Casa de las Américas Prize.
- Read more about Conti’s ‘luminous and troubling South American classic’, Southeaster, published by And Other Stories.
‘Southeaster is a meandering, estuarine version of a road novel, a watery Hemingway-meets-Camus tale of a loner exposed to the elements and in wordless search for some kind of purpose… sensuous and meticulously observed… a luminous and troubling South American classic.’
‘What a surprise and a treat. I was swept up in the great murky flow of it. Conti is a writer for whom place is character, not backdrop, and what a place, what a character. He’s a revelation.’
Professor John King, School of Comparative American Studies, University of Warwick
‘Readers in English can at last immerse themselves in the subtle, beautifully wrought journey of the voyager… Southeaster is one of the most original contributions to what Conti himself would term, in an interview in 1974, “a stylistically and imaginatively Argentine literature”.’
Times Literary Supplement
‘With his plain but indefatigably inventive descriptions, Conti conveys how “the river always changes”… In long winding sentences full of alternately subordinating clauses, Conti slackens the narrative to match the river’s pace… but Conti also knows how to make time buckle, and the last fifty pages… are exhilarating.’
‘Southeaster is a particularly rich evocation of interiority… organising a chaos of memories, observations, thoughts, and feelings into meaningfulness.’
‘Despite the obvious romance of the delta, of Conti’s strange, distorting setting, this is not a novel which romanticizes the lives of those who live in it. It leaves the reader with a savage beauty to contemplate, something contradictory, tense, and ultimately self-destructive in a way that seems to correspond with so much of Argentina’s recent history.’