Paradises might be a reimagining of Camus’ Outsider – but in female form and living in 21st-century Buenos Aires. Our narrator allows the hazards of death and chance encounters to lead her through the city, where she sleepwalks into a job in the zoo’s reptile house, and another administering morphine to one of the oddball residents of the squat that she and her young son move into. Is this life in the shadows, an underworld of cut-price Christmases, drugs and dealers, or is this simply life? And why do snakes seem to be invading every aspect of it?
Paradises is the second novel by Argentine writer Ioso Havilio, and you can read an excerpt of it in B O D Y. The book was just published by And Other Stories press in a translation by Beth Fowler, and it’s great.