Refugees: A Palestinian’s Chronicle is a pioneering novel that is that also offers a premonition of the future.
It is pioneering in that no work of fiction had yet dealt with the Arab-Israeli conflict; it is a premonition in that it offers an enlightening view of the violence and ancestry of hatred that this conflict still embodies.
Written during the months that preceded the Six Days’ War, and recounted by an unnamed protagonist—a fact that testifies to the technical virtuosity of the author—it also gives the character a symbolic value. Refugees has the characteristic depth and clarity of all of Aguinis’ works. It is also packed with historical facts without obstructing the flow of the narrative.
Here there are unanticipated mishaps and nuances. The novel recounts, in the joyful voice of youth, the discussions of a group of young adults thrown together in the Germany of the 1970s. It also delves deep into the effects of reality on the thinking of those times, and presents—with a poetic and elusive touch—the birth of love between a young man and woman who are separated by intolerance. This aspect strikes a lingering emotional chord within the reader, suffusing this intense and irresistible novel with a stirring mystery. It is a landmark among Argentine novels.