Romina Paula

 FICTION | 2009 | 167 pages

Traveling home to rural Patagonia, a young woman grapples with herself as she makes the journey to scatter the ashes of her friend Andrea. Twenty-one-year-old Emilia might still be living, but she’s jaded by her studies and discontent with her boyfriend, and apathetic toward the idea of moving on. Despite the admiration she receives for having relocated to Buenos Aires, in reality, cosmopolitanism and a career seem like empty scams. Instead, she finds her life pathetic.

Once home, Emilia stays with Andrea’s parents, wearing the dead girl’s clothes, sleeping in her bed, and befriending her cat. Her life put on hold, she loses herself to days wondering how if what had happened—leaving an ex, leaving Patagonia, Andrea leaving her—hadn’t happened.

Both a reverse coming-of-age story and a tangled homecoming tale, this frank confession to a deceased confidante. A keen portrait of a young generation stagnating in an increasingly globalized Argentina, August considers the banality of life against the sudden changes that accompany death.


Paula’s [August] is almost impossible to put down: moody, atmospheric, at times
cinematic, her novel is indicative of a fresh and fiery talent with, hopefully, more to
— Kirkus Reviews
Romina Paula is an extraordinary and distinct new literary voice. I texted photos of
almost every page of this novel to my friends. August is enviable in its
unpretentiousness, feminism, and intelligence. It is a rare gift to be able to write what
I thought of as a voice-driven emotional thriller. I wanted to live inside of August, and
am now Paula’s biggest fan.
— Chloe Caldwell, author of I'll Tell You in Person
August demonstrates how loss can mark a person, how it can permeate everything, and what we can do with it.
— Lauren Kinney, Los Angeles Review of Books