An apprentice writer has an entirely unexpected encounter with literary genius Jorge Luis Borges that will profoundly alter his life and work. A poignant and comic literary coming-of-age memoir. "This is a jewel of a book." --Ian McEwan

In 1971 Jay Parini was an aspiring poet and graduate student of literature at University of St Andrews in Scotland; he was also in flight from being drafted into service in the Vietnam War. One day his friend and mentor, Alastair Reid, asked Jay if he could play host for a "visiting Latin American writer" while he attended to business in London. He agreed--and that "writer" turned out to be the blind and aged and eccentric master of literary compression and metaphysics, Jorge Luis Borges. About whom Jay Parini knew precisely nothing. What ensued was a seriocomic romp across the Scottish landscape that Borges insisted he must "see," all the while declaiming and reciting from the literary encyclopedia that was his head, and Jay Parini's eventual reckoning with his vocation and personal fate.
“This is a jewel of a book. Very funny, clever, moving, luminous with love of literature and landscape. Jay Parini’s portrait of both Borges and Scotland is exquisite, deeply affectionate, sometimes comically irritable. He uses all a novelist’s art, all his smoke and mirrors, to let the great man step shambolically from these pages to trap and beguile us, like a modern Ancient Mariner, with his brilliant, freely associative and heady metaphysics and literary table talk. And all his constant demands. My laughter (at poor Parini’s long night in bed with his subject) kept my wife awake. But by the end, I was damp around the eyes; I was sad to let this little cast of characters go. . . I read it in a greedy gulp.” —Ian McEwan

"Borges and Me is a road trip book like no other, written by someone who certainly didn't spend his youth the way I did. I loved every minute of reading it. It's full of wonderful energy and humor, with underpinnings of sadness and seriousness I can't shake." —Ann Beattie

"A tender bond forms between the eccentric sage and his caretaker. . .Fans of both Borges and Parini will delight in this touching coming-of-age memoir. Publishers Weekly, starred review 

"Parini’s vividly detailed memoir, replete with verbatim conversations, is the result of much shaping and retelling, first in fragments over the years, later as a novel, and then as 'a kind of novelistic memoir,' which, Parini writes, 'survives in its transformation into this text.' A captivating chronicle and homage."Kirkus Reviews