Full stories

By Hebe Uhart


Julia Fernández Laín

Foreign Rights Manager

Hebe Uhart (Moreno, Buenos Aires Province, 1936–Buenos Aires, 2018) spent a life-time in writing and publishing. She developed a body of work that embodies a way of looking, of being and of being in the world. Uhart’s is the kind of writer that opens itself up to an awed wonder at the mysteries of the world, relationships, growth and decay, change. There is no solemnity or simplicity in her narratives, but a keen, penetrating intelligence, without sarcasm, never patronising and always bathed in understanding and kindness: a kind of primordial egalitarianism where anything, any being, becomes thought-provoking and is worthy of attention. Her ever-present humour is that of someone who deeply experiences a moment of discovery and moves on to the next. Hebe Uhart tells us what she sees and hears, and an important area of her work is bound up with her experience; with the biography of a girl descended from Italians and Basques and raised in Moreno, a small town in Buenos Aires Province; an unhappy teenager, a young teacher in a small-town school and a student of Philosophy in the capital, Buenos Aires. But her style of narrating experience is a long way from the ‘literature of self’ or ‘autofiction’ as practiced today. This painstaking exploration of her own history, her family and her closest bonds is also tied to her relationships with everyday objects and activities. Her narratives are also open to other areas of experience: jobs, social life, discussions on various subjects, friendships and couples, the plant and animal realms, domestic routines and travel.
A selection of Hebe Uhart's stories has been translated into English by Archipelago Books. Selected stories by Hebe Uhart have also been translated into Italian and published by Jaka Books. Some of her chronicles have also been translated into Portuguese and will soon be published by Editora Roça Nova.