Juan José Saer (June 28, 1937 – June 11, 2005) was one of the most important Argentine novelists of the last fifty years.
Born to Syrian immigrants in Serodino, a small town in the Santa Fe Province, he studied law and philosophy at the National University of the Litoral, where he taught History of Cinematography. Thanks to a scholarship, he moved to Paris in 1968. He had recently retired from his position as a lecturer at the University of Rennes, and had almost finished his final novel, La Grande (2005), which has since been published posthumously, along with a series of critical articles on Latin American and European writers, Trabajos (2006). In year 2012, a first installment of his previously unpublished working notebooks has been edited and published as "Papeles de trabajo" by Seix Barral in Argentina. A second volume followed, the result of five years of editing work by a team coordinated by Julio Premat, who writes the introduction of the first volume. These notebooks allow the reader a privileged insight into the creative processes of Saer. As critics point out, the books of Juan José Saer may be taken as a single "oeuvre", set in his "La Zona", a fluvial region around the Argentinian city of Santa Fé, populated by characters who are developed and become referential from novel to novel.
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