Pedro Mairal

FICTION | 2015 | 115 pages

At the age of nine, Juan Salvatierra became mute following a horse riding accident. At twenty, he began secretly painting a series of long rolls of canvas in which he minutely detailed six decades of life in his village on Argentina's river frontier with Uruguay. After the death of Salvatierra, his sons return to the village from Buenos Aires to deal with their inheritance" a shed packed with painted rolls stretching over two miles in length and depicting personal and communal history. Museum curators from Europe come calling to acquire this strange, gargantuan artwork. But an essential one of its roles is missing. A search that illuminates the links between art and life ensues, as an intrigue of family secrets buried in the past cast their shadow on the present.

RIGHTS: spanish (latin america) PLANETA | french RIVAGES | english NEW VESSEL PRESS | italian BOLLATI BORINGHIERI | german HANSER | dutch ATHENAEUM | thai LEGEND BOOKS | turkish SEL | yoruba GOLD PRESS | arabic ALKARMA BOOK

A simple mystery constructed very cleverly … an atmospheric and understated book with vivid settings and characters, a true delight to read.
— 10 Best Books Shorter than 150 Pages–Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star in Publishers Weekly
A living, breathing, often dazzling portrait of the universal familial struggles inherent in growing up desperate to escape one’s roots, Nick Caistor’s translation of Pedro Mairal’s slim, perfect novel is packed with more life than even miles upon miles of artwork, imagined or otherwise, could ever hope to convey.
— Typographical Era
This surefooted exploration of the painter as a quixotic dreamer gives a South American twist to Balzac’s Unknown Masterpiece … Mairal’s quickening prose moves from the ordinary to the opulent and back again without skipping a beat. The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra will surely leave some readers thinking of Henry James’s tragicomic accounts of the artist’s life.
— Jed Perl, The New Republic
The language is brilliant; pages overflow with fresh ideas and colorful descriptions … The story is compelling, of course, but it is the language, my god the language that does the gripping. It is Mairal’s descriptions—so vivid, so rich and exact—that make this book so enchanting a read.
— The Coffin Factory
At large (and for such a small book it’s remarkably outsize), The Missing Year is a bucolic, yet sumptuous family drama on the River Uruguay that is also a quiet farce of the international art market.
— Bookslut
This short novel about a vast painting is a pleasure to read and affirms Pedro Mairal’s stature as one of the most significant Argentine writers working today. May this be but the first of his books to appear in English.
— David Leavitt, author of The Lost Language of Cranes and The Two Hotel Francforts
This enigmatic novel delights in its understated style.
— Publishers Weekly
Pedro Mairal isn’t your old college literature professor’s idea of an Argentine novelist.
— The Los Angeles Times
Talent, observational skills, charm and a sense of humor are put to the service of a crisp and wise narrative … of powerful and epic pitch.
— El Mundo
An impressive novel, sensual and absorbing, built on a labyrinth of mysteries and revelations.
— La Vanguardia
One of the most interesting writers of contemporary Hispanic-American literature … an extraordinary writer.
— Quimera
Surprising symbiosis between matter and form. Pedro Mairal is my personal discovery of this publishing year.
— El País


La uruguaya NOVEL, 2016 Maniobras de evasión ESSAYS, 2015 El subrayador ESSAYS, 2014 El equilibrio ESSAYS, 2013 El gran surubí NOVEL, 2013 Salvatierra NOVEL, 2008 El año del desierto NOVEL, 2005 Consumido final POETRY, 2003 Hoy temprano SHORT STORIES, 2001 Una noche con Sabrina Love NOVEL, 1998 Tigre como los pájaros POETRY, 1996