cover image The Woman from Uruguay

The Woman from Uruguay

Pedro Mairal, trans. from the Spanish by Jennifer Croft. Bloomsbury, $24 (160p) ISBN 978-1-63557-733-4

This introspective outing from Mairal (The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra) follows a writer’s eventful day as he travels from Argentina to Uruguay to game the exchange rate and collect advances on two books. Lucas Pereyra hopes the money will solve all his problems, including his marital strife with Catalina, who may or may not be having an affair. While in Montevideo, Lucas plans to meet up with Magalí Guerra Zabala, a woman he recently met at a festival, whom he has built up in his mind as another source of salvation. After securing the money from the bank—“a whole year in my pocket”—he rents a hotel room to pursue his “hormonal agenda” with Magalí, though, as is to be expected, nothing goes as planned. Instead, Lucas has run-ins with a pit bull, a tattoo artist, thugs at the beach, and his old mentor. While Lucas’s objectifying of Magalí wears thin, the story ends beautifully and judiciously, as Lucas must decide what he wants and who he wants to be. It adds up to an intimate and mostly fresh look at middle age. Agent: Katie Grimm, Don Congdon Assoc. (July)