Adolfo Bioy Casares (1914–1999) was born in Buenos Aires, the child of wealthy parents. He began to write in the early Thirties, and his stories appeared in the influential magazine Sur, through which he met his wife, the painter and writer Silvina Ocampo, as well Jorge Luis Borges, who was to become his mentor, friend, and collaborator. In 1940, after writing several novice works, Bioy published the novella The Invention of Morel, the first of his books to satisfy him, and the first in which he hit his characteristic note of uncanny and unexpectedly harrowing humor. Later publications include stories and novels, among them A Plan for Escape, A Dream of Heroes, and Asleep in the Sun. Bioy also collaborated with Borges on an Anthology of Fantastic Literature and a series of satirical sketches written under the pseudonym of H. Bustos Domecq.
Bioy Casares’s strange, sly novel may be read as a fable of modern politics or as a meditation on the elusive parameters of the self. Above all, it is an almost scarily perfect comic turn, as well as a pure delight.
Set on a mysterious island, Bioy’s novella is a story of suspense and exploration, as well as a wonderfully unlikely romance, in which every detail is at once crystal clear and deeply mysterious.