Author(s): Cesar Aira
One Saturday night a bankrupt bachelor in his sixties and his mother dine with a wealthy friend. They discuss their endlessly connected neighbors. They talk about a mysterious pit that opened up one day, and the old bricklayer who sometimes walked to the cemetery to cheer himself up. Anxious to show off his valuable antiques, the host shows his guests old windup toys and takes them to admire an enormous doll. Back at home, the bachelor decides to watch some late night TV before retiring. The news quickly takes a turn for the worse as, horrified, the newscaster finds herself reporting about the dead rising from their graves, leaving the cemetery, and sucking the blood of the living-all somehow, disturbingly reminiscent of the dinner party.
Nominated for a Neustadt Award and shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize, Cesar Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949. He has published at least ninety books. Katherine Silver is an award-winning literary translator and the co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC).