You Are Here (Usted está aquí)

You Are Here (Usted está aquí)

Novel | Raíz de Dos, Argentina, 2016 | 180 pages

Winner of the 2015 Córdoba Mata Prize

 

Usted está aquí is a look back over David´s life. Told in the second person, the narrator focuses on the present which finds David in detention for allegedly killing his mother.

Beginning with his birth under precarious circumstances of a mother who regards him as a burden we see David’s pass before us. After he manages to leave a children’s home, he enters a world of crime, joining a gangs that carries out robberies, David moves up from pickpocketing to more complex jobs and, as well as he can, rises through the ranks. The leader, Simón, is interested in his people receiving a well-rounded education and David continues his secondary schooling. He leads a double life. On the one hand, he is a normal student, who falls in love and is loved and respected by his mates; on the other hand, he is a merciless criminal capable of killing should the need arise.

Obsessed with the mother who abandoned him, he succeeds in locating her many years later. David wants and needs to understand and for this reason becomes ever closer to her. He becomes so close that at a certain point he can no longer keep his distance.

… A novel like Pablo Yoiris’ is literature with aspirations. Achieved with depth and subtlety. It is not a novel narrated applying a recipe, but using difference and originality. The kind of novel that on finishing one refuses to lend out because one wants it on hand to reread and discover new revelations. This is gratifying because it happens so rarely. Raúl Argemí, member Córdoba Mata prize jury

 As the common wisdom tells us that “everything has been written”, it is comforting to find authors who through pure talent put a lie to it. With clear, hard prose, Pablo Yoiris writes a story from which the reader will not be able to keep his distance. There are no moral codes in Usted está aquí. Despite so much supposedly avantgarde writing, it is rare in present-day literature that the form of what is written is so dazzling that the novel grows from page to page in a relentless, brutal, and necessarily dark fashion. Guillermo Orsi, member Córdoba Mata prize jury

Usted está aquí is not only an interesting crime novel, but also a good novel: it shows that even as he writes in a genre, th author is able to take stylistic risks and innovate formally without the text losing any of its appeal. Alexis Ravelo, member Córdoba Mata prize jury

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