Juan José Saer

ARGENTINA, 1937 - PARIS, 2005

He settled in Paris in 1968, and began teaching at the University of Rennes. The vast narrative achievement of Juan José Saer, considered one of the maximum expressions of contemporary literature in Spanish, consists of twelve novels, five collections of stories, several essay collections and one book of poetry. His narratives form a cycle characterized by a concrete landscape: the Littoral region of Santa Fe where he was born, and a rich complex array of characters which expand and branch out in episodes outlined in one text and taken up again, much later, in another.

Among the many awards he received, noteworthy are the Nadal Prize 1986 for the novel The Occasion and the France Culture Prize 2003 for the best book written by a foreigner. In 2004, he was awarded the Unione Latina di Letterature Romanze, instituted by the trust of the Presidency of the Republic of Italy with the patronage of several ministries of this country in addition to the Ministries of Culture of Spain and Portugal, the Instituto Cervantes and various others institutions.


Saer on The New York Review Of Books

“Saer has constructed an extraordinary architecture based on a multitude

of infinitely intercut plans […] one could say that saer has read all literature,

listen to every kind of music, debated all the philosophers,

and that the mixed waters of the rio de la Plata sweep along a joyful

and inimitable discourse that flows between the shores of all cultures.”



"Many of us search in literature what Saer found in a perfect way.

He challenges us in a way only done also by Borges:

the dilemma of how to write after what they did".



“To say that Juan José Saer is the best contemporary argentinean writer

is to do an injustice to his achievement. More exact would be to say

that Saer is one of the best contemporary writers in any language

and that his work, like that of Thomas Bernhard or Samuel Becket,

exists beyond all frontiers, in that no man's land which

is the unique region of literature.”



"A perfect writer from the very start."



«With meticulous prose, Saer's novel captures the wilderness

of human experience in all its variety, as well as the

"blind, incomprehensible, ceaseless drift" of time.» 

JASCHA HOFFMAN,  about Glosa [The Sixty-five years

of Washington], on THE NEW YORK TIMES

Fotografia del autor

© Daniel Mordzinski

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By Juan José Saer

  • Works

    ESSAY, 2006

    Written by one of the greatest Argentine writers, the attraction of these articles on literature is twofold: they provide passionate readers with valuable information while also dazzling with the...

  • The Big One

    NOVEL, 2005

    Final novel, this vast gallery of characters described in a vivid and meticulous style is also a compendium of the entire work of Saer and the culmination of his literary project. Another return...

  • Complete Stories

    SHORT STORIES , 2001

    Saer, one of the greats of 20th Century literature, introduced a new, intense and oblique way of reading. An approach in which the reader participates -almost as in an ancient rite- in places and...

  • Place


    Lugar (Place) is remarkable for its creative richness and the audacity with which it conveys the infinite places of time, space, the imagination and memory through brief tales. What is a...

  • Objective Narration

    ESSAY, 1999

    Saer writing down his readings. If, as Saer said, criticism is a superior form of reading, then at its best it can provide masterful literary texts such as the ones that make up La...

  • The clouds

    NOVEL, 1997

    Las nubes (The Clouds) tells the story of a young psychiatrist who takes five insane people to a clinic, travelling from Santa Fe to Buenos Aires. With him go thirty-six characters: mental...

  • The Concept of Fiction

    ESSAY, 1997

    El concepto de ficción (The Concept of Fiction) is a compilation of all of Juan José Saer's essays up to 1997, non-fiction work by a writer who was undoubtedly one of the most...

  • The Pursuit

    NOVEL, 1994

    This labyrinthine work by Juan José Saer contains two parallel investigations into the complexities of madness, memory and crime. The cases; the famous mystery of a series of murders in...

  • Permanent

    NOVEL, 1993

    In clear, direct prose, the plot of Lo imborrable (Permanent) sees Carlos Tomatis wandering through a ghost town. His meeting with a pair of strange characters, Alfonso and Vilma, brings up a...

  • The River Without a Shore

    ESSAY, 1991

    In El río sin orillas (The River Without a Shore), history and culture, the past and present come together in Saer's tight, vigorous writing, which organizes events into a specific order...

  • Opportunity

    NOVEL, 1986

    La ocasión (Opportunity)   tells the tale of Bianco, a master of the occult who must leave Europe hounded by what he calls "the conspiracy of the positivists of Paris”,...

  • The Sixty-Five Years of Washington

    NOVEL, 1985

    An ironic, sentimental journey, Glosa (The Sixty-Five Years of Washington ) concentrates on incidental events and epiphanies, the most important aspects of the world of Juan José Saer...

  • The Stepchild

    NOVEL, 1983

    A cabin boy on a Spanish expedition to the Río de la Plata at the beginning of the 16th Century is captured and adopted by Colastinés Indians. He thus discovers traditions and...

  • Nobody nothing never

    NOVEL, 1994

    What discourse can really offer the complexity of the real life? How many versions of history are possible? At a bend in a river, some men share images and memories, between a suffocating...

  • The Art of Fiction

    POETRY, 1977

    "It doesn't matter what city one is in / they're always in their home land." For Juan José Saer, that land is language. He moves with his fiction but he amazes with his poetry, achieving a...

  • The One Before


    "What can you expect of a man who takes naps? Nothing but a stream of dense, raw fragments. The world might well shine brightly within them, if the world is capable of shining brightly." Thus...

  • The Real Lemon Tree

    NOVEL, 2010

    A family who live on the Santa Fe coast meet on the morning of the final day of the year to prepare for the celebrations that night, when a lamb will be roasted. Two absences afflict the central...

  • Scars

    NOVEL, 2003

    Luis Fiore, a metalworker, murders his wife on the 1st of May. The episode serves as a basis for the four stories that make up this novel by Juan José Saer, originally published in 1969....

  • A Sense of Place


    The formal rigour of modernist narrative and an intensely poetic perception of the world are the two main pillars on which this story collection, a keystone of Argentine literature, is...

  • All the Way Around

    NOVEL, 1966

    Places, phrases, sensations and characters return over and over again in Saer's stories to reference the fragments, experiences, memories and perceptions bouncing around the author's imagination....

  • Stick and Bone


    The four stories that make up the volume Palo y hueso (Stick and Bone), written between 1960 and 1961, first appeared in 1965. Already, Saer was exploring what would become the centre of the...

  • Responso

    NOVEL, 1964

    In just over six hours, from the onset of night to dawn the next day, Barrios will realize that the past, although recent, has become definitive. How had things happened? And, more importantly,...

  • In the Zone


    With now classic texts such as Tango del viudo (Widower's Tango) and Fuego para Rivarola (A Light for Rivarola), and characters who the reader can easily identify and empathize with -Tomatis,...

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