La uruguaya
Pedro Mairal

FICTION | 2016 | 168 pages


Lucas, a man in his forties, embarks on a day trip from Buenos Aires to Montevideo to pick up fifteen thousand dollars in cash. An advance due to him on his upcoming novel, the small fortune promises to be the solution to all his problems: after months of being unemployed and unable to write a single page, the tension at home has become unbearable. While his wife spends her days at work and her nights out on the town—with a lover, perhaps, he doesn't know for sure—Lucas is stuck at home all day staring at the blank page, caring for his son Maiko and fantasizing about the one thing that keeps him going: the Uruguayan girl he met at a conference several months back and who he has plans to see on his day trip to Montevideo.

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Pedro Mairal’s La uruguaya is on its way to becoming the first popular success in Spain amidst a generation of award-winning Latin American authors who have been widely translated and acclaimed by critics and academics but that have not yet transcended small literary circles.
— Javier Rodríguez Marcos, El País
La uruguaya is a perfect novel. A triumph from beginning to end. The novel’s style, that carries the soft irony of a writer in command of his narrative voice, its extension, its verbal prowess, its impeccably paced rhythm and, of course, the theme: a marital crisis written from the perspective of an Argentine man in his mid forties who is facing an existential crisis.
— Anna Caballé, Babelia, El País
A novel that hilariously dissects the ins and outs of the midlife crisis. Pedro Mairal is keenly aware of the many strategies we employ in an attempt to escape from ourselves, achieving none other than the collapse of the world around us. La uruguaya is that kind of book that, once you’ve started to read, is impossible to put down.
— Guadalupe Nettel, author of Natural Histories
With a dynamic pulse, the novel delves into the different ways in which desire articulates love, money and literature.
— Gabriel Caldirola, La Nación (Argentina)
[Pedro Mairal] displays his full talent in a wisely structured novel, outstanding in its narrative rhythm and in the twists and turns of the plot, where humor emerges at the same time a tragedy takes shape surrounding an enigma… La uruguaya is a story about love and its imponderables. And without the slightest doubt, after ten years, it has been Pedro Mairal’s magnificent return to the novel genre.
— Página 12 (Argentina)
A perfect novel.
— Edmundo Paz Soldán
La uruguaya tells the adventures of a man in his forties in the middle of an economic, emotional and existential crisis, in a dizzying, contemporary and amusing way. To be read in a single sitting… It is not just a brilliant depiction of the midlife crisis, but also a deep critical reflection on the traditional economic, amatory and family models that no longer work and we need to be brave enough to pull off.
— Marcela Fuentealba, Revista Paula (Chile)
Agile, amusing and contemporary, the novel flows amidst the lethal combination of a “midlife crisis” and the routines and pressures of being a father and a husband.
— Martín Cristal, La Voz del Interior (Argentina)
Conjugal happiness, professional success, financial prosperity, the average man’s fantasy is put in question in a brilliant narrative structure, very intelligent and totally spot on.
— Revista Mercurio (Spain)
Fine irony, and an amusing way of taking on such a sad subject matter are what make La uruguaya a perfect work of literature.
— J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip, Babelia
A book of easy and fast reading and slow and profitable assimilation because there is much life condensed in this short novel.
— Sagrario Fernández-Prieto, La Razón
I love [this novel]. Complex simplicity that can be read in one sitting.
— Jorge Carrión
From beginning to end La uruguaya is an overwhelming account of the crisis and the defeat of a person burdened by circumstances who occasionally seeks on one bank what he is unable to find on another.
— Luis M. Alonso, La Nueva España
... a small gem. The powerful images, the bold dialogues, the intelligent humor, the almost structural irony, the melancholy vision of the world, the absolute mastery of a narrative voice that alternates the two stories, Catalina’s and Guerra’s make La uruguaya a text that can hardly be forgotten.
— Ricardo Baixeras, El Periódico
... phrases of unusual brilliance, of dazzling wit; but above all, lucid reflections abound with the existential draft that bring bitterness, melancholy or intimate tears, will leave no one indifferent.
— Antonio Bordón, La Provincia
Pedro Mairal’s narrative mastery is captivating... the Argentine author is able to invent a story in which he mixes the past, Pereyra’s memories, with a present that is not entirely revealed.
— Eric Gras, El Periódico del Mediterráneo
La uruguaya is a superb novel…. A novel that touches us, makes us think, puts us in other’s skin and does it brilliantly. Pure literature that shakes us; pure life.
— Ascensión Rivas, El Cultural
I wasn’t able to put the book down until I finished it.
— María Dueñas
As is required in a novella, we are in the presence of a prose devoid of any special effects yet filled with an intense and frenetic pace… The string of encounters and missed connections, as well as the fleeting ins and outs of a cast of curious characters powerfully seduces the delighted reader.
— J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia
Mairal builds a solid architecture and from there he unravels a whole battery of resources with an agile and addictive style, seasoned with humor and gifted of an apparent lightness.
— Ana Prieto Nadal, Revista de Letras
A mature author in a state of grace, who manages to capture readers’ undivided attention throughout this 140-page novel all while sharing with them the fears, instincts and hopes of Pereyra, leading them to either encourage him or relish his downfall, while they identify with him or put him under moral judgment. In any of these circumstances, what is in front of the reader is a mirror, a kaleidoscopic mirror of our times… and also a reflection on the way in which our deficiencies round us out all while condemning us… La uruguaya consecrates Mairal as one of the essential names of the contemporary Latin American novel.
— Alejandro Luque, Revista Mercurio
The loss and recovery of desire, the ambition of everlasting adventures, the earthquake of becoming a father, the flight forward… all these things occur in a single day (…), interwoven in the brilliant prose of Pedro Mairal, one of the best Latin American writers of our time.
— Leila Guerriero


La uruguaya NOVEL, 2016 Maniobras de evasión ESSAYS, 2015 El subrayador ESSAYS, 2014 El equilibrio ESSAYS, 2013 El gran surubí NOVEL, 2013 Salvatierra NOVEL, 2008 El año del desierto NOVEL, 2005 Consumido final POETRY, 2003 Hoy temprano SHORT STORIES, 2001 Una noche con Sabrina Love NOVEL, 1998 Tigre como los pájaros POETRY, 1996