‘Mona’ by Pola Oloixarac: Life in Translation

by Owen Torrey

“The festivals are the real novels!” shouts the protagonist of Mona (192 pages; FSG Books), a new novel by Argentinian author Pola Oloixarac. Mona is one-whiskey-deep, standing in a pub in Sweden with a crowd of writers. Across the bar, a Latvian poet grabs a Finnish author, striking up a conga line. Mona orders a second whiskey and surveys the crowd. “They come to places like these thinking they’re writers,” she continues, “and end up leaving as characters.” The occasion for this evening’s celebration, as well as the novel as a whole, is the ceremony for the Basske-Wortz Prize: a […]

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