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All My Goodbyes

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  38 reviews
This highly acclaimed contemporary Argentinian novel is the first in Giramondo's 'Literature of the South' series, featuring innovative fiction and non-fiction by writers of the southern hemisphere. It is translated from the Spanish by Australian translator Alice Whitmore All My Goodbyes is a novel told in overlapping vignettes, which follow the travels of a young Argentin ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published August 2017 by Giramondo Publishing (first published 2010)
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Julia Tulloh Harper
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
This was great- a story of a woman’s ‘goodbyes’ to the people she forms relationships with as she travels/wanders across Europe for a decade - but less about travelling than avoiding the self-reflection that accompanies settling in one place (or with one person) for too long. Narrated in a fragmented and non-chronological style which suited the story perfectly. Also a dark and violent element which was really unsettling and effective.
"My freedom always implies the slavery of another. So my heart asks (and at heart, I'm no good): if I enslave myself, does that mean that someone else is set free?"

▫️All My Goodbyes by Mariana Dimópulos, translated from the Spanish by Alice Whitmore

The protagonist in All My Goodbyes is a "rolling stone". She moves frequently between European cities in Spain and Germany, back to #Argentina, back and forth a few more times. She forms bonds, and abruptly cuts ties. And then one night on a farm in P
Andy Weston
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
There’s many of the elements here for a really good novel, but it doesn’t ever achieve that.
I can certainly relate to the young woman who narrates; she is a traveller, and for ten years has moved around the world to work as I did, never really settling anywhere for very long, until, with an ailing father, she feels the need to return him to Buenos Aires. In Berlin, Julia, a trauma therapist with whom the narrator lives, diagnoses her with “suitcase syndrome”.
She doesn’t settle for long, and he
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
An unnamed narrator leaves South America to try and find - something - in Europe, but only finds work and love that cannot fill an emptiness, a restlessness in her. She often tells us she has a bad heart. Perhaps she does. What would that mean? Back home she is finally enchanted by a crude, cruel, vital man. He is murdered. It's less about the troubling idea she may have arranged it than this portrait of a lucid, completely unmoored person, and the way life is refracted through her 'bad heart'.
Nancy Oakes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Esther Espeland
Wow this was a spooooky fragmented book, very sensory, all about trauma, and murder, and memory, and escape what a fckin read!!!!! Rly loved, ate this shit RIGHT up
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unusual-novels
I randomly came across ALL MY GOODBYES at the American Library in Paris. I checked it out because it passed the first-sentence-and-random-sentence test (read the first sentence, and if you like it, flip to a random page and read a random sentence, and if you like that, flip to another random page and read another random sentence, etc.) I'm so glad I came across this strange, compelling little novel.

It's beautiful, fragmentary, elusive, and mysterious, the kind of book I always hope to write, but
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
Not my usual fare, this novel is seemingly stream of conscious regarding all the times, the main character has left various places and people. It is ostensibly a murder mystery, but I did not care about these characters nearly enough to invest myself in them. The main character cannot stay in any one place for any length of time or be committed to anyone. This made her seem extremely immature rather than interesting. On to the next on my TBR.
Maria Dimópulos's easy lyricism lulls you deceptively into this story of crime. But also one where the gruesome crime is only secondary to the way more interesting insights and thoughts (and voice!) of the narrator. Masterfully written and for a work with so fragmented a plotline (almost every paragraph is a jump in the timeline of the story), this was still able to capture my attention throughout.
Strange, I liked this book, but I don't think I can tell you what happened. Written in a stream of consciousness manner, the chronology was baffling. The protagonist doesn't like to stay in one place for too long so names come then return or her memory is in that much turmoil. I NEVER gave up on this book. The writing was lyrical to me and just kept on keeping on hoping I would have an epiphany.
Cherise Wolas
What a strange and interesting novel. I read this after reading Erpenbeck's Not A Novel: A Memoir in Pieces, which wasn't really a memoir, and All My Goodbyes is a novel, that is in pieces - the chronology is all cut up, and we are taken back and forth with the narrator as she remembers the past or experiences the present, as she moves from place to place, an inveterate seeker who cannot settle, but perhaps now has. We're told she's called Luisa in Malaga, and Lola in Barcelona, though her name ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All My Goodbyes
by Mariana Dimopulos
Translated from Spanish by Alice Whitmore.
2010 Argentina
Transit Books
4.5 /5.0

I absolutely fell in love with this book. Not at first. The fragmented paragraphs, once I got use to it, really added to the overall feeling of being lost and alienation. The Argentinean writer masters it in this novel. The constant movement, the running from murders she will never escape, this novella about a woman who feels broken, down on herself and lost, only finding solace in lea
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Utterly brilliant portrait of a complex inner world. Told in fragments, a paragraph or two at a time. There was no clear timeline or way to tell which paragraph was from what time, as a reader you were forced to surrender to the flow of the story, let it take you where you needed to go. You had to trust the author, and in my case, trust the translator, would give you as much information as you needed to unravel the story.

The protagonist left her home in Argentina to travel Europe. She leaves, sa
Steve Sanderson
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an intriguing, challenging novel centering on the disconnected life of a young Argentine woman who is rootless in the world, constantly leaving people who ostensibly care for her. The book can't quite be pigeonholed, which is a fine compliment, as far as I'm concerned. It's a ruminative study of how little we are truly connected to our fellow humans and to our places in the world. One readily recognizes the literature of specific places so easily identified with John Ehle or William Faul ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It took me some time to become accustomed to the fluid way time and narrative structure is treated in this novel, but it became the most intriguing part for me. From the start, the narrator made me feel unsettled, and this uneasiness only increases until the end. The last page felt like a kick to the stomach, and the implications of the conclusion stayed with me for hours afterwards.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Giramondo
I was about half way through All My Goodbyes by Argentinian author Mariana Dimópulos, and a bit baffled by its fragmentary style, when I remembered Michael Orthofer’s indispensable The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction. Bless him, he is the soul of brevity and tells me exactly what I need to know in less than four short pages.

Short summary: famous South American authors who cast a long shadow – Borges, Márquez, Llosa and Fuentes. √Yes, I have read ’em all. Only Isabel Allende b
Renee Mihulka
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars
The fragmented style is both a strength and a weakness of this novella. It heightens the unsettled feeling surrounding the protagonist and creates a sense of anticipation around the murders she is being questioned about. However, it also makes it both difficult to follow the narrative and to connect with the protagonist. And although I appreciate the depth of irony, the intensity and the detailed snippets of a young woman’s life, I found the book hard to get into.
Dimópulos’ writing
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I dropped a star off this book since I did not the fragmentary structure. Dimopoulos' young female narrator bounces from situation to situation, from South America to Europe, and each situation is represented in a series of story fragments that are then interwoven with one another to complete the novel. I believe the intent was for the novel to climax with tension achieved through the echoing of the shared similarities to the various endings of each fragmented story. Unfortunately, this did not ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part of a series by Sydney-based publisher Giramondo, called Southern Latitudes, that focuses on translating works from South America, this is an impressive novel. Dimópulos fragments the narrative into short chunks that go back in forth in time as she follows the narrator through her travels in Europe and then back in her home country of Argentina, gradually shedding more light on her life and her involvement in a murder. Well worth checking out.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Beautiful prose, but strange story. The narrator can't bear to stay in one place for long (all the goodbyes) and this chronicles her time in a handful of places (Madrid, Malaga, Berlin, Heidelberg, Buenos Aires, Patagonia) but none of it is told sequentially - it is almost as if we follow her memory as it jumps from place to place and significant person in each place. She finds employment and a connection at each juncture, but sheds them like a snake sheds skin - with no remorse or regret. H ...more
Robert Gebhardt
I hate to say this but this reminds me why I should stay away from contemporary best sellers and stick to classics (which I seldom actually do, but still).

As others commenters have mentioned, the style is extremely jumpy, and I imagine this is supposed to be a reflection of the narrator, who is very flighty and keeps changing her job, her country and her surroundings. However, her descriptions of every place and situation sound so similar, and she keeps jumping around so much through space and t
Jan 16, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book but I think I just didn't understand it. The format is very jumpy, as it bounces between at least five different story lines in the narrator's history. I believe it was supposed to add to the narrator's restlessness but I just found myself getting lost throughout the entire story and missing the overarching point. The writing was very poetic, but the narrator's dialogue (both inner and outer) was just all over the place. She constantly contradicted herself and s ...more
Pakis Ami
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The novel unfolds like found puzzle pieces and comes together like remembering what the other sides of these grey pieces look like. I find myself mourning my parents who are alive. Only once does the narrator reveal herself but magically we know her complete interior because she writes facts, behaviors, scenes and we can’t infer anything else but hurt, a deep, ancient hurt, the burning near the genes hurt our families can leave on us, that we then repeat throughout our lives throughout our pathe ...more
Camille Knudtson
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the storyline and writing, the author is well acquainted with the oddities and tragedies of life and they are a part of the fabric of this book. I enjoyed the premise of the character always moving, never being able to settle because I relate to some extant. Because of this I was disappointed when the end came and there was no true exploration as to why the character lived the way she did, some very compelling character development was set up but never seen through. Maybe that is just my ...more
This novella translated from the Spanish is written in fragments that serve to underline the first-person narrator's constantly changing situations and places. The scattered pieces make it difficult to relate to the narrator, but the brevity of the novel makes it worthwhile to follow as it builds on itself. When it ended, I found myself immediately re-reading certain fragments to revisit the story's building blocks.
Michael Smith
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
There’s a lot to like in this book, such as the premise and mood. But I found that it meandered a bit and didn’t compound or advance the story enough section to section.

I love a great fragmented novel, but there are so many now that we have comparisons to judge against. I don’t think I’ll remember this one in six months (whereas I’ve been talking about Dept of Speculation for going on five years).

Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This story really jumps around a lot. From paragraph to paragraph you have to focus on the character to know which setting the author is talking about. I read the English translation. It would have been much more challenging reading the Spanish original text. The main character has issues with commitment and settling down, so she is constantly uprooting herself. The ending is somewhat revealed at the beginning. It's like a long stream of consciousness.
This book is an interesting experiment in form where the narrative is basically put into a blender and we get to read the fragmented results. The mixed up format mirrors our protagonist, who often feels mixed up herself. For reasons that aren't made entirely clear, she is always striving to leave whenever her surroundings or companions begin to feel too familiar. The novel was hard to get into for me as I read it over a few days. I suspect it would work better as a single-sitting read.
Connor Crawford
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
a really cool book - perhaps one of the only ones I've ever read that jumps around time and space a lot without feeling...jumpy. we really get a fantastic sense of our narrator's state of mind AND mindfulness...or lack thereof.

I am way more interested in the inner workings of her mind and her thoughts than the somewhat rushed ending that deals more with the ~murder~

some rich imagery, from IKEA to Patagonia. this is a special one.

Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this, but I’m most amused by wondering whether I was too confused as I read or not. The constant leaps back and forth in time took a great deal to keep up with, but as discombobulating as that was I have to admit that I could see that’s where the forward motion was. It’s definitely sophisticated in how it is put together, and the story is admirable.
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Mariana Dimópulos es licenciada en Letras (UBA), escritora y traductora. Cursó estudios de Filosofía en Alemania (Universidad de Heidelberg), donde vivió de 1999 a 2005. Es traductora del alemán y del inglés, y también docente universitaria. Colabora en medios gráficos argentinos (Radar/Página12; Revista Ñ/Clarín). Ha traducido, entre otros, a Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno y Robert Musil. Com ...more

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