Planes Flying over a Monster


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9781646222315 | Hardcover 5 x 8 | 224 pages Buy it Now

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Book Description

From one of Mexico’s most exciting young writers, a cosmopolitan and candid essay collection exploring life in cities across the world and reflecting on the transformative importance of literature in understanding ourselves

In ten intimate essays, Daniel Saldaña París explores the cities he has lived in, each one home to a new iteration of himself. In Mexico City he’s a young poet eager to prove himself. In Montreal—an opioid addict desperate for relief. In Madrid—a lonely student seeking pleasure in grotesque extremes. These now diverging, now coalescing selves raise questions: Where can we find authenticity? How do we construct the stories that define us? What if our formative memories are closer to fiction than truth? 

Saldaña París turns to literature and film, poetry and philosophy for answers. The result is a hybrid of memoir and criticism, “a sensory work, full of soundscapes, filth, planes, closed spaces, open vastness” (El País).

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

Literary Hub, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of Summer

"A collection of ten essays [...]: each of them shot through with humor and forming a kind of Künstlerroman in their totality." —Literary Hub

"These electric essays linger in the mind." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Expressing humor, provocation, and sincerity, Saldaña París delivers a rewarding reading experience in each essay." —Booklist (starred review)

“Daniel Saldaña París is simply one of our best living writers and this collection is destined for canonical status. Rarely have I read a book that so thoroughly challenges the boundaries of what nonfiction can be. I was awed by the prose and elevated by the depth and range of thought that imbues these pages, and when I finished reading them all, I started again at the beginning, unwilling and unable to leave the author’s voice behind.” —Chloé Cooper Jones, two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and author of Easy Beauty

"Daniel Saldaña París writes about cities as labyrinths, with each new path twisting through memory and failure and searching and invention, leading readers to corridors where the intimate and the cosmic intersect. Planes Flying Over a Monster is a tremendous work of art." —Laura van den Berg, author of State of Paradise and The Third Hotel

"Planes Flying Over a Monster is a coming-of-age story written in the same kind of fragments that make up most minds in the 21st century. A lucid book about the surprising drugs to which we become addicted; a book about broken dreams, missed trips, romantic failures—the unwritten books that make up our identities. An unforgettable book for its self-mockery, at turns brutal and endearing." —Guadalupe Nettel, author of Still Born

"Daniel Saldaña París's Planes Flying Over a Monster is engrossing and wise and surprising; reading it feels like getting caught in an unexpected eight-hour conversation with a fascinating stranger at a dark bar. These are essays about caregiving, desperation, art-making, recklessness and youth, ghost limbs of all kinds; and these are maps of cities: maps of drug dealers and secret meetings, lost poets, lost gardens, long shadows and blood-stained patios. Throughout, I felt utterly surrendered to the sparkling, wry, self-interrogating tenderness of this voice and these fever dreams. I will teach these essays and ponder them and feel grateful for them for the rest of my days." —Leslie Jamison, author of Splinters and The Empathy Exams