Iosi Havilio


Paradises might be a reimagining of Camus’ Outsider – but in female form and living in 21st-century Buenos Aires. Our narrator allows the hazards of death and chance encounters to lead her through the city, where she sleepwalks into a job in the zoo’s reptile house and administers morphine to one of the oddball residents of the squat that she and her young son move into. Is this life in the shadows, an underworld of cut-price Christmases, drugs and dealers, or is this simply life? And why do snakes seem to be invading every aspect of it?

Paradises returns to the enigmatic female characters of Havilio’s first novel, Open Door – and has already been highly praised by Beatriz Sarlo, perhaps the most influential critic in his native Argentina. Thoughtful, yet unafraid of squalor or the perils of insecurity, this is a voice for right now, obliquely critical, grimly comic.

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  • With an introduction by Alex Clark
  • Read Iosi Havilio’s intriguing interview in Latineos (in English).
  • If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before this book went to the printers, you would have received one of the first copies of the book – in which all subscribers are thanked by name – before its official publication, as well as up to 5 other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about how to subscribe.
Print status: Available
Author: Iosi Havilio
Translator: Beth Fowler
Original language: Spanish
Format: B-format paperback with flaps
Publication date: 3 October 2013
ISBN: 9781908276247
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276254
Availability: World
Number of pages: 336


Amanda Hopkinson
The Independent

‘Iosi Havilio has caused a literary storm in Argentina. … His creation is of an inverted “paradise”, urban squalor a pole apart from the gardens of Paradise. It well reflects the inequalities and iniquities left by Argentina’s financial collapse at the turn of this century. This is the aftermath of an apocalypse.’

Beatriz Sarlo

‘Havilio has found just the right tone and understated register to describe extremity. Paradises takes place in an irresistible, ghostly normality.’

Revista Tónica

‘In contemporary Argentine literature, Paradises is an almost perfect novel.’

Fabián Casas, author of Los Lemmings

‘In his novels we find the invisible and essential work that only great writers are capable of.’


‘This is a novel which follows its own rules, and it works — on its own terms.’