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Little Eyes

LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE, 2020

Translated by Megan McDowell
LIST PRICE: AU$ 12.99
PRICE MAY VARY BY RETAILER

A visionary novel about our interconnected world, about the collision of horror and humanity, from the Man Booker-shortlisted master of the spine-tingling tale

'She has a gift for fiction that is pure, original, revelatory.' El País

A New York Times 'Book to Watch Out for in May'

They've infiltrated homes in Hong Kong, shops in Vancouver, the streets of Sierra Leone, town squares of Oaxaca, schools in Tel Aviv, bedrooms in Indiana.

They're not pets, nor ghosts, nor robots. They're real people, but how can a person living in Berlin walk freely through the living room of someone in Sydney? How can someone in Bangkok have breakfast with your children in Buenos Aires, without you knowing? Especially when these people are completely anonymous, unknown, untraceable.

The characters in Samanta Schweblin's wildly imaginative new novel, Little Eyes, reveal the beauty of connection between far-flung souls – but they also expose the ugly truth of our increasingly linked world. Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love, playful encounters and marvellous adventures, but what if it can also pave the way for unimaginable terror? Schweblin has created a dark and complex world that is both familiar but also strangely unsettling, because it's our present and we're living it – we just don't know it yet.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (March 18, 2020)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781786077936

'Ingenious... An artful exploration of solitude and empathy in a globalised world… in a nimble, fast-moving narrative, what’s most impressive is the way she foregrounds her characters’ inner hopes and fears.'

– Guardian

'Disturbing... Schweblin enjoys hovering just above the normal. Inspired by Samuel Beckett, she is interested in exposing absurdities.'

– Financial Times

Little Eyes makes for masterfully uneasy reading; it’s a book that burrows under your skin.’

– Telegraph

'I cannot remember a book so efficient in establishing character and propelling narrative; there’s material for a hundred novels in these deft, rich 242 pages... The writing, ably translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell, is superb, fully living up to the promise of Schweblin's stunning previous novel, Fever Dream... A slim volume as expansive and ambitious as an epic.'

– New York Times

'A timely meditation on humanity and technology.'

– Harper's Bazaar

Little Eyes acts as a clear warning that every digital decision we make has consequences... It does feel alarmingly real.’

– i

'This dazzling inquiry into loneliness and connection...has been given added resonance by the atomisation of lockdown.'

– Guardian, '50 Brilliant Books to Transport You This Summer'

'Creepy as hell.'

– Weekend Sport

‘Enjoyable reading… rif?ng on everyday human foibles – jealousy, capriciousness, existential restlessness…the understatedly arch tone is well served by Megan McDowell’s translation, which is so slick that one hardly seems to be reading a translated work.’

– Literary Review

'Daring and original... Schweblin deftly explores both the loneliness and casual cruelty that can inform our attempts to connect in this modern world.'

– Booklist

'If you want a spookily prescient vision of human isolation both assuaged and deepened by inscrutable, glitch-prone tech, then Little Eyes more than fits the brief... Adroitly served by Megan McDowell’s winningly deadpan translation, these stories deal not in 'truly brutal plots' but 'desperately human and quotidian' urges, fears and scams... In the middle of our stay-at-home, broadband-enabled apocalypse, that feels right.'

– Spectator

'The 'toys' Schweblin has created are the perfect hybrid between a pet and a social network, enabling her to dissect problems that touch all of our lives: the dark side of the internet; the global epidemic of loneliness; the dumb inertia that leads us to jump on board with the latest trend… As always in the worlds Schweblin creates, the real monsters are to be found not in the outside world, but inside each of us.'

– New York Times (Spanish edition)

'A dystopian novel that is necessary, hypnotic, irresistible.'

– Elle Italia

'This brilliant and disturbing book resembles Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale in how it speculates…Schweblin unspools a disquieting portrait of the dark sides of connectivity and the kinds of animalistic cyborgs it can make of us, as we walk through barriers that even spirits cannot cross.'

– Literary Hub

'The finest novel of the past five years. Quite exceptional. Little Eyes will certainly feature in future lists of the ten best novels of this century.'

– Luisgé Martín, author of The Same City

'A nuanced exploration of anonymous connection and distant intimacy in our heavily accessible yet increasingly isolated lives...Capacious, touching, and disquieting, this is not-so-speculative fiction for an overnetworked and underconnected age.'

– Kirkus Reviews

'This has a propulsive, Dave Eggers-ish readability.'

– Daily Mail

'Little Eyes is a short, powerful, disquieting novel. The story explores the grey area that constitutes an invasion of privacy, and the line between intimacy and exhibitionism. Samanta Schweblin guides the narrative with a skilful hand reminiscent of her very finest short stories. An excellent storyteller, but above all, a true writer.'

– La Razón

'Readers will be fascinated by the kentuki-human interactions, which smartly reveal how hungry we are for connection in a technology-bent world. Of a piece with Schweblin’s elliptical Fever Dream and the disturbing story collection Mouthful of Birds...this jittery eye-opener will appeal to a wide range of readers.'

– Library Journal

'Schweblin’s handling of tension and her viscously instantaneous ironic twists, familiar from her short story collection Mouthful of Birds, are delicious... An eerie sense of disjuncture characterises the entire reading experience...an indicator of the deep, discomforting place it has made itself under my skin.'

– 3:AM magazine

'Schweblin unfurls an eerie, uncanny story… Daring, bold, and devious.'

– Publishers Weekly

'Her most unsettling work yet – and her most realistic.'

– New York Times

'Schweblin's clear and brisk language, aided by a seemingly effortless translation from Spanish by Megan McDowell, drives home the accessibility of this outlandish story. Little Eyes is strange and addictive, an experience made even more frightening by how familiar this feels.'

– Salon

‘Alluring and unsettling in equal measure… A subtle and scathing parody of modern communications technology and social media… Colourful and near-hypnotic prose… A rare, yet powerful, indictment of a society that tolerates and even encourages violations of one of our most precious moral commodities – privacy.’

– E&T

'She has a gift for fiction that is pure, original, revelatory.'

– El País

'Little Eyes calls to mind the world of Black Mirror. The result is suffocating and addictive in equal measure; combining the minutiae of domestic life with a picture of the dark side of technology in a disconcertingly natural style. A story about voyeurism, and the pleasure of looking at the world through someone else’s eyes.'

– El Mundo

'An insightful reflection on solitude and privacy.'

– ABC

'[Schweblin is] a literary explorer of 21st century fears.'

– La Vanguardia

'Schweblin plunges herself once again into the disturbing limits of what we think of as 'normal'.'

– Letras Libres

'This isn’t science fiction; this is the here and now.'

– El Diario

'Drawn in quotidian elegance, the novel is a string of nonstop, colorful vignettes… If Schweblin’s sci-fi thriller Fever Dream made sleep difficult, Little Eyes raises the unease quotient. The book seems to watch viewers creepily as it unfolds.'

– BookPage

'Like a true master, Schweblin manages to lure us in with a story that leaves us both bruised and fascinated.'

– Culturas

'The undisputed star of Latin American fiction.'

– ABC Sevilla

'The fantastic and strange worlds of Samanta Schweblin’s work are described with wisdom and ferocity.'

– La Repubblica

'Embedded within this novel of international interconnectivity are questions of the exhibitionism and voyeurism tied up in our use of technology. Expect echoes of the Wachowskis' Sense8, except told with what has been characterized as Schweblin's "neurotic unease."'

– The Millions, Most Anticipated Titles of 2020

'Samanta Schweblin will injure you, however safe you may feel.'

– Jesse Ball, author of Census

'Samanta Schweblin is one of the most promising voices in modern literature.'

– Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

'Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin was pure sorcery. Hands down, one of the best books of 2020 (so far)... I was intoxicated.'

– The Book Satchel

'In accentuating so many of the dangers of online communities, as well as [the] advantages, Schweblin takes you on a psychological journey that feels like a Black Mirror episode and has you questioning actions that seemed mundane before.'

– The Book Slut

More books from this author: Samanta Schweblin