"A book full of sublime treasures from one of our boldest writers." —Deborah Levy, author of Real Estate
Renowned internationally for her lyrically unsettling novels, PEN/Faulkner Award winner Chloe Aridjis now offers readers her first collection of shorter works, with an introduction by Tom McCarthy.
Chloe Aridjis’s stories and essays are known to transport readers into liminal, often dreamlike, realms. In this collection of works, we meet a woman guided only by a plastic bag drifting through the streets of Berlin who discovers a nonsense-named bar that is home to papier-mâché monsters and one glass-encased somnambulist. Floating through space, cosmonauts are confronted not only with wonder and astonishment, but tedium and solitude. And in Mexico City, stray dogs animate public spaces, “infusing them with a noble life force.” In her pen portraits, Aridjis turns her eye to expats and outsiders, including artists and writers such as Leonora Carrington, Mavis Gallant, and Beatrice Hastings.
Exploring the complexity of exile and urban alienation, Dialogue with a Somnambulist showcases “the rare writer who reinvents herself in each book” (Garth Greenwell) and who is as imaginatively at home in the short form as in her longer fiction.
"Exquisite dreamworks that exert alternative logics and make a compelling case for the idea that we are born into fantasy and only gradually acquire a sense of a much narrower and more rational reality." —Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond
"Chloe Aridjis’s stories and essays are beguiling, her language fresh, her bright mind refreshing. She joins fantasies with realities, to startle the senses, to unite what seems unlikely—a mother eating sea monkeys, a son who can’t leave his house. With elan, she investigates life’s profound and peculiar mysteries. Reading Dialogue with a Somnambulist, one page after another, entranced, I was filled with admiration and love for this daring, excellent writer." —Lynne Tillman, author of Mothercare
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