cover image All My Goodbyes

All My Goodbyes

Mariana Dimópulos, trans. from the Spanish by Alice Whitmore. Transit, $15.95 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-945492-15-0

Argentina’s Dimópulos debuts in English with this impressionistic account of a young woman’s “pilgrim years” of itinerancy. The narrator leaves Buenos Aires at 23, proclaiming, “being useful is no use to me.” For the next 10 years, she drifts through Spain and Germany, repeatedly falling in love but always finding a reason to keep moving. In Heidelberg, she charms a student with her knowledge of the Latin names of plants, and in Berlin, she rooms with a trauma therapist before abandoning her, broken-hearted, to run off with a globe-trotting businessman whom she’d first met roaming the beach in Málaga. Once back in Argentina, the narrator moves to a farm in the shadow of the Andes and begins a passionate affair with Marco, its proprietor. With him she begins “predicting a life for myself; for real this time, this time forever.” That is, until he is brutally murdered. As more scandalous details surrounding Marco’s death emerge, however, the appeal of avoiding commitment, no matter how immature, becomes harder to ignore. “We know from our hydrogen and our oxygen that we are water as well as dust,” Dimópulos writes. “And water runs.” Dimópulos boldly abandons chronology in this novel, offering instead brief, interweaving glimpses of her narrator’s relationships to create a fascinating kaleidoscope of regret. (Feb.)