The Paris Review

Listen to Hebe Uhart, Now That She’s Gone

Read Hebe Uhart’s short story “Coordination,” which appears in the Spring 2019 issue.

Hebe Uhart. Photo: Agustina Fernández.

In section 16, grave 34 of the Chacarita Cemetery in Buenos Aires, pumpkins and tomatoes now grow. Pumpkins and tomatoes, just like that. A scene that could have been written by Hebe Uhart, who, since October 12, 2018, has lain in a grave there. An image worthy of her stories: reality interrupted by strangeness. “A story is a little plant that’s born,” Uhart used to say that Felisberto Hernández used to say. Hernández was one of her go-to authors, along with Natalia Ginzburg, Fray Mocho, and Simone Weil. Uhart starts her magnificent story “Guiding the Ivy” by announcing, “Here I am arranging the plants so they don’t overcrowd one another, pulling off dead leaves, and getting rid of ants.”

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Some time ago, at the launch party for one of her books, Hebe Uhart—born in 1936 in Moreno, Argentina, author of some fifteen volumes of stories, novels, and chronicles, winner of the 2017 Manuel Rojas Ibero-American Narrative Award, rural schoolteacher, philosophy professor in her youth and leader of literary workshops until the end of her days, curious in the extreme, chronic traveler,

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