The Foreigners

Maxine Swann. Riverhead, $25.95 (258p) ISBN 978-1-59448-830-6
Three women navigate modern life in Buenos Aires in Swann's elegant third novel (after Flower Children). Daisy, a lonely American divorcée with no direction, moves to the city at the suggestion of a friend. To fight the isolation, Daisy explores and encounters fascinating characters, like Gabriel, a medical student turned male gigolo ("the beautiful thing is that it annihilates the whole problem of desire," he says of his work) and Isolde, an Austrian émigré with a lust for social status. Daisy forms a mercurial friendship and an obsessive bond with Leonarda, a young Argentine involved in an underground society trying to create "a strategy of happiness" in order to "alleviate the anxiety of uncertainty" in the country. The city itself, attempting to recover from a recent economic crash, is locked in its own battle for identity and gives Daisy freedom to disappear and flourish anew, at least momentarily. Though the city invites inhabitants to lose themselves for a time, it can also confine those who wish to escape. Whether native or foreigner, each character is displaced and wrestles with the outcome. With lyricism and observational skill that recalls early Joan Didion, Swann brings Buenos Aires to life. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 978-1-59448-792-7
Paperback - 258 pages - 978-1-59448-581-7
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-54768-7
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-101-54695-6
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