Diffident, self-critical, wary of commitment, a young Argentinian woman feels her identity is in pieces and condemns herself to repeated acts of departure—from places, parents, and lovers. Then, arriving in the southernmost region of Patagonia, she convinces herself she has found happiness, until she’s caught up in the horrific murders that haunt her story.
To enter the space of All My Goodbyes is to cross a threshold into a broken world ... Like forensic archaeologists, we sift through the debris left behind by the narrator’s restless European years: the people and the places; the serial, menial jobs; the budding relationships; the houses that could have been made a home ... All My Goodbyes is, in part, an interrogation of the relationship between time and space. As such it captures the paradox inherent in the physical world as we currently understand it ... the fragmented nature of All My Goodbyes is not simply that of a postmodern non-linear narrative. There is nothing simple about this novella. Its narrative is not fragmented only because the work of memory makes a ruin of the forward flow of time ... Reality is broken, in the sense that it is composed of grains of space that, in Rovelli’s words, 'cannot be ordered in a common succession of ‘instants.' This novella captures the unnerving experience of scientific doubt—a contagious sense, which the narrator learned early from her father, that the world is not what it seems.
...remarkable ... Even as the narrator stakes claim to a fragile identity—'the raw stock of my being never seemed to cook'—in fact her character comes through fully conceived ... She is terrifically funny, especially as she catalogues the absurdities of life and leisure under late capitalism. It is extraordinary to read a book in which no single word is wasted. The brevity of the prose results in a page that is hot to the touch. The novel seems to suggest that if a person stays in any one place, she will get burned. The narrative thread does not advance conventionally, but roams, seemingly unsystematically, as it reexamines earlier occurrences ... The whorling time in the novel is authentic to the expatriated citizen’s experience of how the present is often ruptured by undercurrents of the past. The destabilizing sequence of events illuminates Dimópulos’s commitment to portraying a new global citizenship characterized by interruption, dispersal, and disruption.
...a book that masterfully rearranges the novel’s elemental hierarchy, touching on themes of obligation, globalization, and place ... Dimópulos’s greatest achievement is the successful break of language from narrative time. Large portions of the book are a form of what the narrator calls a 'dreaded introspection,' just a voice speaking from an unclearly defined location. In a lesser work, the voice would feel claustrophobic or confusing, but Dimópulos introduces enough narrative elements and keeps them skillfully in motion, the parts of the books moving around each other in a dense enough orbit. Dimópulos also successfully reorders the hierarchy of novelistic elements, putting place and voice over time ... Dimópulos’s reader must rely solely on the narrator’s voice, drawn into an uncommon space that threatens to break into chaos. A muddier narrative voice would make such a fragmented novel confusing and unnecessarily scattered. Dimópulos’s writing, however, is propulsive in its clarity and energy, creating a novel that both invites a one-session read, 'hard to put down,' but is also dense enough to benefit from more than one go-through.