Slow Biography

Sergio Chejfec


This book could be read as the story of a man and his time told by a son with obscure omissions and hints. What at first looks as though it will be a simple story slowly transforms into a thicket of thorny questions: how does one chronicle the past? How can one describe what they haven’t experienced themselves? Does it matter whether our memories are true? A rare example of a Jewish-Argentine novel, this does not celebrate immigration or culture clashes but rather starts out with historical disillusionment: the holocaust is a constant presence. Slow Biography, Sergio Chefjec’s first book, is the beginning of a remarkable literary career.

“There’s not much difference between the Jewish wanderings across the Red Sea and my father’s flight across the ocean to reach Argentina. Between those two exoduses there were many more, harrowing and unknown and it seemed to me that it was the same brutal chance that murdered my relatives – to put it like that – that led to my being born in Buenos Aires.”


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