Red Parrot, Wooden Leg

Author(s) : Gregorio Kohon

Red Parrot, Wooden Leg

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This is an original first novel of an accomplished poet: erotic, humorous, exotic and sensuous. It describes the adventures of two young writers, set in the midst of political repression, anti-Semitism and violence during the Latin American dictatorships of Brazil and Argentina in the 60s. Kohon's text might be deceptively read as personal reminiscences. In fact, this is one of the many achievements of this wonderful piece of fiction.

Reviews and Endorsements

'Political repression, tangled love and a one-legged parrot who hates goats - the eponymous parrot arrives part-way through this coming-of-age novel about two wannabe Argentine writers hanging out in Rio de Janeiro.
Despite the political undertow, this is a diary in the style of the Beats, with homage to Kerouac, Ginsberg and Miller. It extends its reach to Brazil in the throes of the new sounds of bossa nova and tropicalia.
The encounter between the bourgeois porteños of Buenos Aires and the alternative lifestyle cariocas of Rio lends the book a character as original as that of the lame parrot.'
- Amanda Hopkinson in The Independent

'It was a great pleasure to read... What is done so well in the book is the creation of atmosphere - whether political intimidation, the ambiguous threats of magic, or just erotic possibilities. The bizarre, semi-surreal outrageous scenes are quite brilliant, and the spirit of amazing mischief is irresistible. The disturbing links with the political violence haunts the novel.'
- Adam Phillips, author of Staying Sane

'Red Parrot, Wooden Leg by Gregorio Kohon explores coming of age in a vastly different time and place. Daniel grew up in Buenos Aires and is now living in Rio de Janeiro, his hedonistic lifestyle - writing poetry and living with his girlfriend, a prostitute he met in a bar - in stark contrast to the repression that pervaded South America in the Sixties ... But letters from home bring him back in touch with a reality he's trying to forget. These letters, written by his friend Damian, are the highlights of the book, sharp and frightening insights into the rising political tensions in Argentina.
...as a view into life under military dictator Ongania's regime it is an interesting read.'
- Francesca Segal in The Observer

'It is the 1960s, and Daniel, a poet, has left Buenos Aires for an adventure in Rio with his friend Luigi. Considering themselves "heroes of the modern era", the two live in exotic poverty; they make friends with transvestite spiritualists and fall in love with prostitutes. Their exile is, however, underscored by the political unrest of the time, the rumble of which grows in volume to challenge their belief that the meaning of life lies in sex, jazz and Allen Ginsberg.
Argentinan-born Gregorio Kohon is a renowned psychoanalyst and a poet, so you would be forgiven for not expecting his debut novel to have a light touch. This, however, has just that: a coming-of-age tale, it is as lusty and spirited as it is thoughtful.'
- Lottie Moggach in the Financial Times

About the Author(s)

Gregorio Kohon is a Fellow and Training Analyst of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and works in London in private practice. He edited The British School of Psychoanalysis: The Independent Tradition, and The Dead Mother: The Work of André Green. He also published No Lost Certainties to be Recovered; Love and its Vicissitudes (co-authored with André Green), and Reflections on the Aesthetic Experience: Psychoanalysis and the Uncanny (2015). He is also a poet and a writer. His new book, British Psychoanalysis - An Independent Tradition is to be published in 2018.

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