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The most unsettling and stunning of Aira's short novels published by New Directions.
Ghosts is about a construction worker's family squatting on a building site. They all see large and handsome ghosts around their quarters, but the teenage daughter is the most curious. Her questions about them become more and more heartfelt until the story reaches a critical, chilling moment when the mother realizes that her daughter's life hangs in the balance.
“Wonderful... Ghosts is an incitement to the sensuality of thought, of wonder, of questioning, of anticipation.” — Thomas McGonigle, Los Angeles Times
“A languorous, surreal atmosphere of baking heat and quietly menacing shadows... puts one in mind of a painting by de Chirico.” — The New Yorker
“Once you’ve started reading Aira, you don’t want to stop.” — Roberto Bolaño
“Utterly astonishing.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Aira's literary significance, like that of many other science fiction writers, comes from how he pushes us to question the porous line between fact and fantasy, to see it not only as malleable in history, but also blurred in the everyday. The engrossing power of his work, though, comes from how he carries out these feats: with the inexhaustible energy and pleasure of a child chasing after imaginary enemies in the park.” — Los Angeles Review of Books
“Ghosts has some serious bite, for such a little book. Within it Aira likens literature to a building that has never been built, to an architect's dream. And though he never comes out and says it, I get the sense that for him the reader is always a ghost, haunting the unbuilt and the imagined, flying through time to attend to the party on the page.” — Emily Keeler, The Rumpus