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Living Things

Living Things

By Munir Hachemi
Translated by Julia Sanches
Categories: Fiction
Paperback : 9781552454770, 144 pages, June 2024
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781770568037, 144 pages, June 2024
Ebook (PDF) : 9781770568044, 144 pages, June 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-06-18
Ebook (EPUB) - Unavailable
Ebook (PDF) - Unavailable

WINNER OF A 2023 PEN TRANSLATES AWARD

This punk-like blend of Roberto Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives and Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream heralds an exciting new voice in international fiction

Living Things follows four recent graduates – Munir, G, Ernesto, and Álex – who travel from Madrid to the south of France to work the grape harvest. Except things don't go as planned: they end up working on an industrial chicken farm and living in a campground, where a general sense of menace takes hold. What follows is a compelling and incisive examination of precarious employment, capitalism, immigration, and the mass production of living things, all interwoven with the protagonist’s thoughts on literature and the nature of storytelling. 

 

Reviews

"A magnificent debut." – Eugenio Fuentes, La Nueva España

“Hachemi counterbalances the uneasy atmosphere with a constant, subtle underlying humour that feels like a burst of fresh air. Absurdity and latent danger, stirred up in a French heatwave by the naïve insouciance of a group of increasingly tense youths, create an absorbing, somewhat Kafkaesque mood ... [Hachemi] weaves a delicately disturbing tale that contains all the rage and disappointment of facing a reality where only helplessness is possible.” – Gabi Martínez, La Vanguardia

 

Living Things is a short novel that changes its skin – and almost its genre – in each of its eight parts ... A work of autofiction that not only defines the self against lived and narrated experience, but also functions as an indictment of social, political, sanitary and economic systems: of the meat industry as it exists today, of racism, of insecure work and financial precarity, and of the voracity at the heart of capitalism itself.... [T]he fact that this all happened to the author affects us not only as readers, but as human beings.” – Carlos Zanón, El País

 

“An endless array of sounds and ideas reverberate through these pages, at times apocalyptic and at other times deceptively naïve.” – Qué Leer

 

“Blending together allusions to Hemingway, Borges, Bolaño, Houellebecq and even Lenin, with reflections on Google, the true nature of the livestock industry, the ins and outs of temp work agencies, ecological stability, the free market and the paradoxes of diary-keeping, Munir Hachemi superimposes layers of reality with quasi-apocalyptic detours that reveal the menace underlying seemingly banal situations.” – María Teresa Lezcano, Diario Sur

 

“From the outset [of Living Things], the first person narration is interwoven with a multitude of meta-literary and philosophical reflections that eventually form a rich second skin, a subterranean engine through which the real story, beyond the descriptions of escapades and setbacks, begins to be understood. A magnificent debut.” – Eugenio Fuentes, La Nueva España