When a mysterious stranger arrives laden with paintings, Leandro finds his quiet life instantly and mysteriously disrupted. Awakening locked in a windowless room in a topless tower, he finds himself trapped—the subject in one of the stranger’s eerie paintings. Heavily influenced by nonsense literature such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and the surrealist movement in South America, The Topless Tower features all the typical hallmarks of Silvina Ocampo’s fantastical writing. With subtle inflections of language and tremendous displays of imagination running riot, Ocampo’s writing is beautifully translated here by James Womack.
Ocampo wrote with fascinated horror of Argentinean petty bourgeois society, whose banality and kitsch settings she used in a masterly way to depict strange, surreal atmospheres sometimes verging on the supernatural. The Independent
Ocampo mixes unembellished narration and dark, fantastic elements into a heady cocktail. Heather Cleary, Lit Hub
Few writers have an eye for the small horrors of everyday life; fewer still see the everyday marvelous. Other than Silvina Ocampo, I cannot think of a single writer who, at any time or in any language, has chronicled both with such wise and elegant humor. Alberto Manguel