New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811219112, 162pp.
Publication Date: November 20, 2013
List Price: 13.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Maxi, a middle-class, directionless ox of a young man who helps the trash pickers of Buenos Aires's shantytown, attracts the attention of a corrupt, trigger-happy policeman who will use anyone including two innocent teenage girls to break a drug ring that he believes is operating within the slum. A strange new drug, a brightly lit carousel of a slum, the kindness of strangers, gunplay... no matter how serious the subject matter, and despite Aira's fascination with urban violence and the sinister underside of Latin American politics (The Millions), Shantytown, like all of Aira's mesmerizing work, is filled with wonder and mad invention.