Once Upon Argentina


by Andrés Neuman

August 20, 2024
novel | pb | 312 pgs.
5.5" x 8.5"

Once Upon Argentina tells the sentimental and political story of a family that comes from everywhere, and of a country’s wandering, migratory culture.

In the beginning it was Jacobo, born in tsarist Russia, who fled to Buenos Aires and married a young Lithuanian woman named Lidia. Or was it René, a French sculptor who knelt before no one, and his wife Louise Blanche, who left France only to end up in a remote town in northern Argentina.

Descended from these colorful, half-forgotten character, the young narrator of this novel employs dazzling prose to construct a journey through a family tree populated with endearing, eccentric, unforgettable figures, along with an intelligent and personal account of the construction of contemporary Argentina, from Yrigoyen to Menem, through Peronism and the nightmare of dictatorships.

These stories intersect, intertwining like a set of Matryoshka dolls or hall of mirrors, letting the personal and political histories of the twentieth century reflect off of one another. With extraordinary delicacy and intensity that combines elegy, tragedy, and humor, Andrés Neuman unpacks a territory as real as it is fantastic, as strange as it is our own.

Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia

About the Author:

Andrés Neuman (1977) was selected as one of Granta’s "Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists" and was included on the Bogotá-39 list. He is the author of numerous novels, short stories, poems, aphorisms, and travel books, including Traveler of the CenturyTalking to OurselvesThe Things We Don’t Do, and Fracture. His works have been translated into twenty-two languages.

About the Translators:

Nick Caistor is a prolific British translator and journalist, best known for his translations of Spanish and Portuguese literature. He is a past winner of the Valle-Inclán Prize for translation and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4, Times Literary Supplement, and the Guardian. 

Lorenza Garcia has lived for extended periods in Spain, France, and Iceland. Since 2007, she has translated over a dozen novels and works of non-fiction from French and Spanish.

Praise for Andrés Neuman

“It is impossible to classify Andrés Neuman: each of his books is a new language adventure, guided by the intelligence and the pleasure of words. He never ceases to surprise us and is, doubtlessly, one of the most daring writers in Latin American literature, willing to change, challenge and explore, always with a unique elegance.”—Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in the Fire

"One of the things I love about Andrés Neuman's work is how he restores writing as the most powerful source of knowledge. Fracture, this dazzling and devastating novel, is a terrific demonstration of that."—Alejandro Zambra, author of Ways of Going Home

"Traversing languages and cultures, decades and generations, Fracture unites its many fragments to form a powerful and redemptive vision of a single, and unbroken, human life. A searching, humane, and vital novel."―Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries