Sergio Bizzio, translated by Amanda Hopkinson
2009, Bitter Lemon Press
219 pages

LIKE SO much talent from Argentina and indeed like his own girlfriend, the lionised Lucía Puenzo, Sergio Bizzio does not know whether he wants to be a novelist or a film director. It may be an advantage in the rarefied, elite intellectual circles of Buenos Aires, but you can’t have it all. Fortunately, Bizzio has done well enough as a writer to be sure of his status as a creative force in Argentina and Rage, a disturbing portrait of a society menaced by crisis and his sixth novel, provides much evidence of this. Shot through with the resentment that penetrates contemporary Argentina, Rage tells the story of the fugitive José María who hides on an empty floor in the mansion where the woman he is in love with, Rosa, is a maid. He observes in silence his lover’s humiliation at the hands of the householders and their decadent behaviour. Bizzio is a skilful novelist, providing a cutting social commentary by plucking the taut strings of a plot like a crime writer. His debut as a film director, Animals, was locally acclaimed – but Rage is proof that he should leave the cinematography to Lucía and concentrate on what he does best. – GO’T

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