The Lime Tree

The Lime Tree

3.68 (328 ratings by Goodreads)
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Seeing double rows of elegant lime trees around the main square of his hometown of Colonel Pringles, our narrator - who could well be the author himself, although nothing is guaranteed in a book by Cesar Aira - suddenly recalls the Sunday mornings of his childhood, when his father would take him to gather the lime-flower blossoms from which he made tea.

Beginning with his father, handsome and `black' and working-class, and his strikingly grotesque mother, the narrator quickly leaps from anecdote to anecdote, bringing to life his father's dream of upward mobility, the dashing of their family's hopes when the Peronist party fell from power, the single room they all shared, and his mother's litany of political rants, which were used - like the lime-flower tea - to keep his father calm.

Aira's charming fictional memoir is a colourful mosaic of a small-town neighbourhood, a playful portrait of the artist as a child and an invitation to visit the source of Aira's own extraordinary imagination.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 12mm | 141g
  • High Wycombe, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1911508121
  • 9781911508120
  • 1,141,637

Review quote

''Although comprised of what can seem like individually minor creations, Aira's project is no less ambitious than Proust's, and for those of his fans who cannot read his work in Spanish, the arrival of each new title is a bittersweet occasion. It has taken 14 years for The Lime Tree to reach us in English, and that is too long to wait. We want more, and we want it yesterday.' Patrick Flanery, The Spectator---------`Aira's work is varied and extensive, but "The [Lime] Tree" may be one of its best points of entry, affirming the existence of a Latin American literature that refuses to conform to the conventions and stereotypes of magical realism, social realism or other cliches about fiction from this part of the globe.' Patricio Pron, New York Times-----------'Hail Cesar!' Patti Smith----------'Bewitching and bewildering ... Compulsively readable ... Aira's writing - with its equal measures of rich complications and airy whimsies - combines brevity with so many possible meanings.' Arifa Akbar, Financial Times----------'Aira writes at full tilt, going where the words take him (a style he calls "constant flight forward") so that reading him is dizzying.' Jane Housham, The Guardian----------'If there is one contemporary writer who defies classification, it is Cesar Aira. His novels seem to put the theories of Gombrowicz into practice, except, and the difference is fundamental, that Gombrowicz was the abbot of a luxurious imaginary monastery, while Aira is a nun or novice among the Discalced Carmelites of the Word. Sometimes he is reminiscent of Roussel (Roussel on his knees in a bath red with blood), but the only living writer to whom he can be compared is Barcelona's Enrique Vila-Matas.' Roberto Bolano----------'Aira is firmly in the tradition of Jorge Luis Borges and W. G. Sebald.' Mark Doty, Los Angeles Times----------'Aira is one of the most provocative and idiosyncratic novelists working in Spanish today, and should not be missed.' New York Times Book Review----------'Along with a daring sense of fun, Aira has a playful imagination and the ability to spin a yarn as intricate as a spider's web.' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times-----------'Cesar Aira is writing a gigantic, headlong, acrobatic fresco of modern life entirely made up of novelettes, novellas, novelitas... In other words, he is a great literary trickster, and also one of the most charming.' Adam Thirlwell----------'Aira's works are like slim cabinets of wonder, full of unlikely juxtapositions. His unpredictability is masterful.' Rivka Galchen
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About Cesar Aira

Cesar Aira is the author of around 80 books. The Argentinian's writing is considered to be among the most important and influential in Latin America today, marked by extreme eccentricity and innovation, and a playful spirit. He is without a doubt the true heir to Jorge Luis Borges' literature of ideas. Chris Andrews was born in Newcastle, Australia, in 1962. He teaches at the University of Western Sydney, and has translated books by Roberto Bolano and Cesar Aira, and published critical studies and poetry.
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Rating details

328 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 20% (67)
4 36% (119)
3 36% (118)
2 5% (17)
1 2% (7)
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