Influenced by a Latin American literary tradition steeped in magic realism, but embracing a personal history that has included living in Chicago, Cadiz, Guayaquil and London, Niki’s fiction conveys a gritty, often scientifically-sophisticated, world with a haze of surrealism. Shamans parade the pages side-by-side with lovesick film buffs, papers and humans fly at will, and intellectual and professional quests lead to self-destruction. Whether it’s a boy trapped at age fourteen after a botched attempt to capture time in a capsule, an organic seed distributor entrapping an errant lover with a replica pre-Columbian Aztec artefact bought in Chicago, or a woman attempting to drown herself in a water aerobics class in London, Niki Aguirre’s stories grip by their absolute logic and the sheer absurdity of the inevitable truths they unravel.
Latin America has always had its literary fiction heroes, but not many have come from Ecuador; based on the quality of Niki Aguirre’s assured debut, it has been worth the wait.
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