Ida Vitale author Sean Manning translator


Publisher:Charco Press

Published:30th Nov '21


Available to order, but very limited on stock - if we have issues obtaining a copy, we will let you know.

Byobu cover

Byobu reveals a rich inner world, one driven by its meticulous attention to our rich outer one.

Byobu reveals a rich inner world, one driven by its meticulous attention to our rich outer one.

"a story’s existence, even if not well defined or well assigned, even if only in its formative stage, just barely latent, emits vague but urgent emanations."

Byobu's every interaction trembles with possibility and faint menace. A crack in the walls of his house, marring it forever, means he must burn it down. A stoplight asks what the value of obedience is, what hopefulness it contains, and what insensible anarchy it defies. In brief episodes, aphorisms, and moments of spiritual turbulence and gentle scrutiny, reside a wealth of habits, worries, curiosities, pleasures, peculiarities, and efforts to understand.

Representative of the modesty and complexity of Ida Vitale’s poetic universe, Byobu flushes the world with meaning and playfully offers another way of inhabiting the every day.

"the best book of 2021 just arrived. Search no further. All the other contenders tapped out while this masterpiece was being completed." —ABC Cultural

"Vitale’s prose is drop dead gorgeous and Byobu an enchanting mix of the wise, the ruminative, and the poetic." —Jeremy Garber, Powell's Bookshop

"A fascinating glimpse into the poet’s intricate world." —Morning Star

"Extraordinary... giving due attention to Vitale’s prose will bring you reassurance and optimism" —Lunate

Praise for Ida Vitale

  • Winner of Miguel de Cervantes Prize (2018).
  • Named by BBC as one of the 100 most influential women of 2019.
  • Winner of Reina Sofía Prize for Latin American Poetry (2015).

‘In Byobu , the veteran Uruguayan poet Ida Vitale gives us a holy fool for the twenty-first century. The responses of her childish everyman to the contemporary life she’s constructed for him are puzzled yet direct, wry yet fresh. A series of exquisitely rendered vignettes see him struggle, existentially alone, to make sense of park life, insomnia, or a conference roundtable. But behind the humour and pathos rumbles the entire western philosophical tradition. This complex late masterpiece, published when Vitale was 95, offers plenty of questions but – of course – no answers.’Fiona Sampson MBE FRSL

‘An alchemical abecedary in which the ever-insubordinate imagination of Ida Vitale fashions delicate miniatures, origami animals, to a rebellious horology set by tourbillon. The eye as instrument coalesces words into a double play: classical forms and experimentation, contradictio in adiecto , the paradox of language paints the colored screen, biombo , byobú, between ourselves and the mystery. Odilon Redon, Queneau and Calvino meet Voltaire in the hands of master watchmaker Vitale who whispers: linear time is but an illusion.’Valerie Miles

Byobu offers a journey both mysterious and epiphanic. Signposted by exquisite vocabulary and writing that is not simple, where each word possesses its own weight and music’Babelia

‘Ida Vitale is a woman of almost legendary courage. Due to her long and intense life, she has become an exceptional witness of Latin America and its literature.’Salient Women

‘Ida Vitale’s writing succeeds like few others in encountering that harmonious figure (…) hidden and woven between the hurtful protrusions of reality, among the amorphous noise of chaos.’El País

ISBN: 9781913867027

Dimensions: unknown

Weight: unknown

85 pages