The Moldavian Pimp is a richly textured novel by the Argentinean writer and filmmaker Edgardo Cozarinsky. Set both in Paris and Buenos Aires, the action opens when the narrator, a twenty-five year-old student interested in unearthing unusual stories, pays a visit to an elderly man named Samuel Warschauer, a collector of old Yiddish plays. The narrator soon comes into possession of one of these scripts, entitled The Moldavian Pimp, and then embarks on a quest to uncover the circumstances of the play’s composition.
What follows is a graceful yet complex narrative, woven through with vivid, cultural detail and the narrator’s imaginative musings. At the heart of the novel’s historical context, and the narrator’s obsession, is the slave trade of the early 20th century which brought many young Jewish women from the Ukraine to Argentina. Specifically, we learn about the melancholic love triangle between two such Jewish women and a young Samuel Warschauer. The action follows the narrator’s investigations, leading us through a world of brothels and tango halls, journeying back and forth between the past and present. Throughout this book, the reader is repeatedly struck by Cozarinsky’s stunning depiction of these forgotten places and, implicitly, by how much of our world today must still remain hidden and unexamined.