Our ill-fated narrator is Aurora Berro, who dies in the novel’s opening pages when a vinyl record, screaming across the sky like a “demented boomerang,” slices her jugular in unspectacular fashion. What ensues is a nightmare of vaudevillian overtones and magnificent solitude (think Carmen Boullosa meets Jon Fosse meets Marx Brothers). Out of the Cage made me feel uneasy in my skin, uneasy about the fact of my birth, and suddenly unsure of how my mother really felt about me.— From Spencer R.
Out of the Cage opens in 1956, in Argentina, with the freakish death of Aurora Berro, and descends into a dark philosophical exploration of humanity and mortality. In the midst of her family's celebration of a national holiday, an LP, careening through the air like a "demented boomerang," severs her jugular. Her family-- an agglomeration of perversions, deformities, and obsessions--seems at first not to notice, singing on. Aurora is left behind in a voyeuristic limbo as an omniscient first-person narrator, to observe the depravity of her family and reflect on the farce of her life and human existence.Fernanda García Lao has been called "the strangest writer of Argentine literature," and in Out of the Cage, she lives up to that distinction. The book is saturated in strangeness, a blend of formal experimentation, eroticism, grotesque theatricality, and dark humor that evokes the absurdist fictions of Witold Gombrowicz and the style of Silvina Ocampo. The result is a macabre and fantastic vaudeville, a tragicomedy, a kind of Dadaist opus against ideas of eternal beauty and fixed identity, against absolute concepts and universality.