Overview


When her partner disappears, a young woman drifts towards Open Door, a small town in the Argentinean Pampas named after its psychiatric hospital. She finds herself living with an ageing ranch-hand, although a local girl also proves irresistible. This evocative book makes a quiet case for the possibility of finding contentment in unexpected places.
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Open Door

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Overview


When her partner disappears, a young woman drifts towards Open Door, a small town in the Argentinean Pampas named after its psychiatric hospital. She finds herself living with an ageing ranch-hand, although a local girl also proves irresistible. This evocative book makes a quiet case for the possibility of finding contentment in unexpected places.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
Argentine author Havilio impresses with this flawed but fascinating first novel. The unnamed narrator, a young veterinary assistant based in Buenos Aires, arrives in the eponymous town for a routine to checkup on a horse and quickly finds herself laying down roots, enjoying drugs, and engaging in erotic encounters with locals of all sexes and ages. When one of her lovers disappears, she is targeted as a suspect and seeks lodging at the horse owner's ranch. When she is targeted as the suspect in the disappearance of her lover back in Buenos Aires, the narrator seeks refuge at the horse owner's ranch and slowly begins to discover secrets surrounding the town's origin and people. The descriptions of village and its surrounding country are rich with the type of detail that alone is not particularly remarkable, but when taken together create a palpable sense that something is off, making the revelations much more rewarding when they happen. Though dragged down by long stretches in the second half in which little occurs, this surreal novel is both dense enough and short enough to warrant re-readings and will especially appeal to fans of the TV series Twin Peaks. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

"Look out in the autumn for Open Door by the much-praised Iosi Havilio, one of the launch titles on the And Other Stories list." 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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781908276070
  • Publisher: And Other Stories Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/20/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 214
  • File size: 260 KB

Meet the Author


Iosi Havilio was born in Buenos Aires in 1974. Open Door is his first novel. His second novel is Estocolmo (Stockholm). Originally published in Argentina, both have now been issued in Spain. He is currently working on a novel that follows on from Open Door.
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