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Leandro Ávalos Blacha

"An addictive novel that can be read as the heir to Thomas Pynchon or Quentin Tarantino." La Nación

© Alejandro Meter

 

Leandro Ávalos Blacha (Quilmes, Argentina, 1980) studied Literature and attended Alberto Laiseca’s writing workshop. He has published the story ‘Serialismo’ (Eloísa Cartonera, 2005, Nuevo Sudaca Border Prize) and the novels Berazachussetts (Entropía, 2007, winner of the Nouvelle Indio Rico Award, whose jury included César Aira, Daniel Link and Alan Pauls), Medianera (Party Wall, Eduvim, 2011; Editorial Evaristo, forthcoming this 2021), Malicia (Malice, Entropía, 2016) and Una casa de pie (A Standing House, Clase Turista, 2017). In 2014 he was part of the Argentinean delegation at the Paris Book Fair and was invited to the festival of fantastic literature Les Imaginales, in Épinal (France) in 2014 and 2017. In 2017 he also completed a writing residency at the Maison des Écrivains Étrangers et des Traducteurs de Saint-Nazaire, France. He is currently working on Malice´s sequel and on a graphic novel with Stéphane de Caneva. His new novel (unedited) is Los Quilmers (The Quilmers).

 

Los Quilmers (The Quilmers)

Unedited novel / 35.250 words

 

 

 

Malicia (Malice)

Entropía, 2016 / 179 pagess

 

Rights acquired by:

Asphalte (France)

Entropía (Argentina)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malice begins with the honeymoon in a summer village of Juan Carlos, a compulsive gambler, and his wife, Perla, whom he chose according to the luck of the numbers. They are accompanied by Mauricio, a friend of Juan Carlos with whom he has an irrepressible competition. The village is besieged by a series of murders of vedettes who appear naked and mutilated. The couple becomes involved in the crimes when they meet Vilma Menta, a famous vedette who heads a revue show inspired by Batman characters. While Perla takes part in the show, the killer attacks backstage the vedette Piru Viedma. Until there, the detective story.

The supernatural aspects of the plot are triggered when three female spectators, a psychic, a girl and another holidaymaker, find the corpse and fall into a kind of trance. The episode awakens one of the voices in the choral game that makes up the story, that of Piru herself, who will tell them from beyond the grave how to make television profits from her death.

 

“Ávalos Blacha’s concise style seems to follow the camera games of filmmakers such as John Carpenter or Brian De Palma.” Martín Lojo, Revista Ñ, Clarín

“An addictive novel that can be read as the heir to Thomas Pynchon or Quentin Tarantino.” José María Brindisi, La Nación

“Ávalos has a solid writing which mixes the traditional novel with crime and fantastic elements, until making it look like a delirium.” Gonzalo León, Perfil

“Avalos Blacha handles the means of the narrative with exceptional skill to compose a diversity of atmospheres that break with convention.” Silvina Friera, Página 12

Medianera 

Eduvim / 130 páginas

 

Rights acquired by:

Asphalte (France)

Evaristo Editorial (Argentina)

Kenya Films (Film and TV Series optioned)

 

 

 

 

 

In the courtyards and basements of this neighbourhood, around the telephone antenna installed by the all-powerful phone company Phonemark, strange things happen. Families take prisoners into their homes to enable to make ends meet and also to have credit in their cell phones. While some manage to sympathise with their strange caged tenants, others become their lovers or take advantage of the situation to organise fights between prisoners and wild animals. In the neighbourhood there are less and less births, and more deaths and disappearances.

In five chapters – which could easily be considered single forceful stories, shocking and not exempt from a certain poetry – the author shows us a world under the control of a mobile phone operator that has reduced its customers to slaves, disrupting even the laws of nature and the very concept of life itself. With a sharp pen, and with a consummate art of social satire, Ávalos Blacha describes a world – ours, or one not too far away – in which people live in constant fear of what the company that dominates and oppresses them might do to them. People (who are clearly no longer citizens) have ended up accepting a situation that is never questioned. There is no rebellion here, it is only about improving their own situation a little. People would not risk the capacity of being able to top up their SMS credits. Only grandmothers, remnants of another world, continue to show a true spirit of solidarity and compassion, where the younger generations are only trying to survive and consume before their own extinction. We laugh.

We also shiver when reading this novel, halfway between fantasy and dystopia, and above all we think that Leandro Ávalos Blacha is part of the best of the young generation of Argentinean writers who are nourished by pop culture, the Z series and the economic crisis, and who offer us a literature that is as serious as it is crazy and invigorating.

 

 

Berazachussets

Entropía / 160 pages

 

Rights acquired by:

Asphalte (France)

Entropía (Argentina)

Folio/Gallimard (France – paperback)

Storytel (Spanish audiobook)

 

 

 

 

“The city of Berazachussetts is a mess. The sons of rulling class kidnap foolish people and take them off into the woods to force them to rape and kill off-guard women. They film them and upload the footage to the internet. They have a blast. Into this abject setting bursts Trash, a metal zombie who looks like she has survived the outrage and runs into an ineffable quartet of retired ladies – a Buenos Aires Teacher´s Union version of The Triplets of Belleville – who give her shelter in their flat. Trash breaks the ice by eating the corpse of a flyer guy and downing it with a beer in the teachers’ living room. “Do you have a freezer?” she asks them in a sweet voice before distributing the remains of the body in various tupperware for the evening’s meal. At this point in the events, page 21, the question is: who gets you off to such a start? Winner of the 2007 Indio Rico prize for the best Buenos Aires nouvelle, a unanimous verdict of César Aira, Alan Pauls and Daniel Link (let’s see who can beat those three together), this overflowing story by Leandro Ávalos sets up a parallel Greater Buenos Aires in whose margins a cannibal revolution is brewing. With precise writing and voracious inventiveness, the author unravels characters and situations at a crazy pace: cumbia heroes, merciless politicians, gangs of cripples, crazy old ladies, ghosts and ranchero prophets of a pop apocalypse. Ávalos seems to have dug through the dumpsters of Alice in Wonderland, The Seven Madmen and A confederacy of dunces to make a personal feast out of the residues of those masterpieces. Here, the action is torrential, the genres duel and the fauna of Berazachussetts wallows in the remnants of civilisation of a suburbs reloaded.” Rolling Stone

“It is a hilarious, acid and tremendously funny novel. Zombies, rich people who assert their right of prey, a crippled woman who extorts money from a whole town, eco-terrorists, retired teachers, cannibalism, a delirious universe full of politically incorrect characters.” Selva Almada

“Ávalos Blacha’s writing is a taut arc in whose flashes coexist the speech of the middle class and the punk youth, the café talk and the most elegant and classic narration..” Mauro Libertella, Inrockuptibles

“A very unconventional book.” Página 12

 

 

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