Saer’s final novel, La Grande, is the grand culmination of his life’s work, bringing together themes and characters explored throughout his career, yet presenting them in a way that is beautifully unique, and a wonderful entry-point to his literary world.
Moving between past and present, La Grande centers around two related stories: that of Gutiérrez, his sudden departure from Argentina 30 years before, and his equally mysterious return; and that of “precisionism,” a literary movement founded by a rather dangerous fraud. Dozens of characters populate these storylines, including Nula, the wine salesman, ladies’ man, and part-time philosopher; Lucía, the woman he’s lusted after for years; and Tomatis, a journalist whom Saer fans have encountered many times before.
Written in Saer’s trademark style, this lyrically gorgeous book—which touches on politics, artistic beliefs, illicit love affairs, and everything else that makes up life—ends with one of the greatest lines in all of literature: “With the rain came the fall, and with the fall, the time of the wine.”
Find it at openletterbooks.org