Jorge Barón Biza: El desierto y su semilla (The Desert and Its Seed)

The latest addition to my website is Jorge Barón Biza‘s El desierto y su semilla (The Desert and Its Seed). This is a thinly disguised autobiographical novel, telling of the grim events that happened in the author’s family. Barón Biza’s father threw acid in the face of his wife (while they were discussing divorce with their lawyers). She was badly injured. He then shot himself. Much of the novel involves the various complex, expensive and painful operations that Eligia, the mother in this book, had to undergo in both Argentina and Milan, with her son by her side much of the time. When he was not by her side, he was drinking and whoring. (Both Barón Biza and his sister will also later kill themselves.) The novel is very well told – Barón Biza’s only novel – as Mario, Barón Biza’s name in this book, describes the events, analyses himself and his father and tries to use dry humour to keep going.

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