A masterpieceofunusualbeautyby one of Europe's greatest living writersa brilliant evocation of the Spanish Civil WarOn August 19, 1936 Hercules the boxer stands on the quayside at Coruna and watches Fascist soldiers piling up books and setting them alight. With this moment a young, carefree group of friends are transformed into a broken generation. Out of this incident during the early months of Spain's tragic civil war, Manuel Rivas weaves a colorful tapestry of stories and unforgettable characters to create a panorama of 20th-century Spanish historyfor it is not only the lives of Hercules the boxer and his friends that are tainted by the unending conflict, but also those of a young washerwoman who sees souls in the clouded river water and the stammering son of a judge who uncovers his father's hidden library. As the singed pages fly away on the breeze, their stories live on in the minds of their readers.
About the Author
Manuel Rivas was born in Galicia, in Spain, in 1957, and has worked for many years as a journalist as well as a prize-winning novelist. One his short stories formed the basis for José Luis Cuerda's award-winning film "Butterfly," which Gabriel Garciá Márquez said was "a perfect marriage of film and literature."
Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His novels have been translated into eleven languages and honored by many prestigious literary awards including the Prix Medicis Etranger. Author of "Bartleby & Co.", "Montano's Malady", and "Never Any End to Paris", he has received Europe's most prestigious awards and been translated into twenty-seven languages.
"It's time for reviewers and sundry pundits to quit the flattering comparisons with Lorca, Joyce and Garcia Marquez. Manuel Rivas reads like no-one else on the planet... one of those novels to lavish on friends... Manuel Rivas' sweeping novel, translated into English for the first time, is an undoubted classic." --Scotsman
"His boldest take yet on the war's repercussions in his native Galicia... a work of unusual beauty." --Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times