César Aira: Los fantasmas (Ghosts)

The latest addition to my website is César Aira‘s Los fantasmas (Ghosts). The novel is set in a high-rise building in Buenos Aires, where expensive flats are being built for the well-to-do but which is still not finished. A Chilean family, the Viñas, who act as caretakers, lives in the building. The story is set on New Year’s Eve and the Viñas are having family round for a celebration. However, there is another party. The resident ghosts are having their Big Midnight Feast. The workers and the Viñas take the ghosts for granted, even though they are all male and all naked. The ghosts invite Patri, the eldest Viñas child to their party. There is only one condition. She must be dead. As always with Aira, it is a superb story, with a philosophical aside and an awareness of the ordinary people.

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