Omar Razaghi posts a letter on September 13, 1995 that will change his life forever. A doctoral student in Kansas, he writes to the estate of the Latin American author Jules Gund, requesting permission to write Gund's authorized biography. His request is refused, but Omar has already accepted a fellowship from the University and with his girlfriend's encouragement, he goes in person to Uruguay to petition to Gund's three executors. Although Jules' wife, mistress and mother of his child are initially opposed to the idea of a biography, Omar has the support of Jules' older brother, and hopes to be able to persuade the two women. Omar's unexpected arrival in Uruguay reverberates through this odd and isolated little family group, and his stay in the dreamy Ochos Rios makes him question his former life in Kansas, and his ability to write an "authorized" life.