Zama remains the most attractive of Di Benedetto’s books, if only because of the crazy energy of Zama himself, which is vividly conveyed in Esther Allen’s excellent translation.”
—J.M. Coetzee, NY Review of Books
“This year’s release of Antonio Di Benedetto’s masterpiece is a literary event of great importance, and it puts an end to an unjust historical neglect.”
—Daniel Saldaña Paris, Publishers Weekly
“Enthralling.”
—Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker
“[Di Benedetto] has written essential pages that have moved me and that continue to move me.”
—Jorge Luis Borges
“Di Benedetto is the rare novelist who doesn’t seek to reconstruct the past to prove a point. He lives the past, and exposes us to experiences and forms of behavior that retain all their weirdness.”
—Julio Cortázar
“Scattered in various corners of Latin America and Spain, [Zama] had a few, fervent readers, almost all of them friends or unwarranted enemies…. [It is written with] the steady pulse of a neurosurgeon.”

by Antonio de Benedetto
Coming Soon: August 2016 by NYRB Classics

First published in 1956, Zama is now universally recognized as one of the masterpieces of modern Argentinean and Spanish-language literature.

Written in a style that is both precise and sumptuous, Zama takes place in the last decade of the eighteenth century and describes the solitary, suspended existence of Don Diego de Zama, a highly placed servant of the Spanish crown who has been posted to Asunción, the capital of remote Paraguay. Eaten up by pride, lust, petty grudges, and paranoid fantasies, Don Diego does as little as he possibly can while plotting an eventual transfer to Buenos Aires, where everything about his hopeless existence will, he is confident, be miraculously transformed and made good.

Don Diego’s slow, nightmarish slide into the abyss is not just a tale of one man’s perdition but an exploration of existential, and very American, loneliness. Zama’s stark, dreamlike prose and spare imagery make every word appear to emerge from an ocean of things left unsaid.

 

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