‘No busques lugar más bello, porque no lo encontrará’

Susan M. Gaines will be with us this Wednesday 17 February to discuss her novel Accidentals. Gabriel is a young birdwatcher who returns with his mother to the family estancia in Uruguay. The novel pitches us into an absorbing drama of environmental science against a background of political upheaval, as Gabriel uncovers his family’s complex and sometimes dark history.

To help set the scene, Susan M. Gaines has shared with us an annotated playlist of Uruguayan music covering the period of the 60s to the early 2000s. Here she is on Daniel Viglietti’s A Desalambrar

‘One of the most iconic protest songs of South America throughout the 1960s and seventies, with its dreams of a world without fences, where the land and its bounty is shared by those who work it—the sort of idealism that infected Gabriel’s parents’ generation, but which he cannot fathom, as a young man in 1999…

As I select the music for this playlist, I’m caught in a maelstrom of nostalgia, grief, sadness, and joy—much like the returning emigrant Uruguayans in Accidentals, though I didn’t grow up there. Nostalgia, because these rhythms and melodies evoke times and places and friends who are now beyond reach. Grief, because the world—most notably my own native land—has only pedaled backwards since these hopeful Latin American protest songs were written in the 1960s and seventies. Sadness, because the love songs conjure the ghosts of lost lovers. And joy at the sheer exuberance and inventiveness of Uruguay’s blend of tango, milonga, candombe, murga, jazz, and rock.’

You can enjoy the fully annotated playlist over at largehearted boy:


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