The Clouds


by Juan José Saer

May 10, 2016
novel | pb | 160 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"

“What Saer presents marvelously is the experience of reality, and the characters’ attempts to write their own narratives within its excess.” 

In present-day Paris, Pinchón Garay receives a computer disk containing a manuscript—which might be fictional, or could be a memoir—by Doctor Real, a nineteenth-century physician tasked with leading five mental patients on a trip to a recently constructed asylum. This ragtag team, which includes a delusional narcissist and a nymphomaniac nun who tricks the other patients into sleeping with her, ploughs full steam ahead on a tragicomic trip that ends in disaster and fire.

Fascinating as a faux historical novel and written in Saer’s typically gorgeous, Proustian style, The Clouds can be read as a metaphor for exile—a major theme for Saer and Argentine writers in general—or as an examination of madness. (Read an Excerpt)

Translated from the Spanish by Hilary Vaughn Dobel


About the Author: Juan José Saer was the leading Argentinian writer of the post-Borges generation. The author of numerous novels and short-story collections (including Scars and La Grande), Saer was awarded Spain’s prestigious Nadal Prize in 1987 for The Event.

About the Translator: Hilary Vaughn Dobel has an MFA in poetry and translation from Columbia University. She is the author of two manuscripts and, in addition to Juan José Saer, has translated work by Carlos Pintado.


“Saer is one of the best writers of today in any language.” 
—Ricardo Piglia