Living Things

Munir Hachemi


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Fitzcarraldo Editions
20 June 2024
ISBN: 9781804270875
120 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Julia Sanches

A genre-bending, literary eco-thriller, Living Things follows four recent graduates whose summer plans to work abroad take a sinister turn. 

Living Things follows four recent graduates – Munir, G, Ernesto and Álex – who travel from Madrid to the south of France to work the grape harvest. Except things don't go as planned: they end up working on an industrial chicken farm and living on a campsite, where a general sense of menace takes hold. What follows is a compelling and incisive examination of precarious employment, capitalism, immigration and the mass production of living things, all interwoven with the protagonist’s thoughts on literature and the nature of storytelling. Genre-bending and dystopian, Living Things is a literary eco-thriller, a punk-like blend of Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives and Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream, and heralds an exciting new voice in international fiction. 


‘Hachemi counterbalances the uneasy atmosphere with a constant, subtle underlying humour that feels like a burst of fresh air. Absurdity and latent danger, stirred up in a French heatwave by the naïve insouciance of a group of increasingly tense youths, create an absorbing, somewhat Kafkaesque mood ... [Hachemi] weaves a delicately disturbing tale that contains all the rage and disappointment of facing a reality where only helplessness is possible.’ 
— Gabi Martínez, La Vanguardia

Living Things is a short novel that changes its skin – and almost its genre – in each of its eight parts ... A work of autofiction that not only defines the self against lived and narrated experience, but also functions as an indictment of social, political, sanitary and economic systems: of the meat industry as it exists today, of racism, of insecure work and financial precarity, and of the voracity at the heart of capitalism itself.... [T]he fact that this all happened to the author affects us not only as readers, but as human beings.’
— Carlos Zanón, El País

‘An endless array of sounds and ideas reverberate through these pages, at times apocalyptic and at other times deceptively naïve.’ 
— Qué Leer