A tragic tale of hatred between two half-brothers, Celebration in the Northwest (Fiesta al Noroeste) is a gripping novel by Ana María Matute, one of twentieth-century Spain’s most important writers. At the center of the novel are confessions that the protagonist, Juan Medinao, makes to a local priest in the fictional Castilian town of Artámila. Those confessions reveal the volatile mixture of attraction and repulsion between Juan and his half-brother, Pablo. In describing the troubled bond between these characters, Matute creates a harrowing, modern enactment of the Biblical tale of Cain and Abel. Celebration in the Northwest is remarkable for its evocative prose, its riveting plot, and its portrayal of a character overcome by bitterness, envy, rage, and alienation.
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Ana Maria Matute, author of Celebration in the Northwest, was 10 years old in 1936, the year the Spanish Civil War broke out. For three years she witnessed the strife and carnage that ripped her homeland apart, then came of age in a repressive society ruled by Franco. These terrible years fostered in her the pessimistic outlook evident in her fiction and provided the subject matter for her writing. In the Franco years, strict censorship forced writers into a kind of metaphorical fiction in which they discussed the war, the government, and the church without directly referring to them. The biblical story of Cain and Abel is a theme Matute returns to time and again, a symbol for the fratricide in Spain.
This story is integral to her short novel, Celebration in the Northwest, first published in 1953. The novel's title refers to a small village cemetery where the funeral of a young child killed by a circus wagon is celebrated. The main characters are Pablo and Juan, two half-brothers whose love/hate relationship parallels that of biblical brothers Cain and Abel. Matute's dark vision of social injustice and church hypocrisy in postwar Spain is leavened by striking imagery and lyrical style. A winner of the prestigious Spanish Café Gijón prize in 1952, Celebration in the Northwest makes for worthwhile reading more than 40 years later.About the Author:
Ana María Matute was born in Barcelona in 1926 and has published ten novels, ten collections of short stories and essays, and eight children’s books. She has won nearly all of Spain’s major literary prizes—among them, the prestigious Café Gijón award for Celebration—and her works have been translated into twenty-three different languages. In 2010, Matute won the Cervantes Prize for lifetime achievement. Phoebe Ann Porter is coeditor, with Héctor Medina, of Exploraciones imaginativas: Quince cuentos hispano-americanos.
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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, 1997. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96180904
Book Description University of Nebraska Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book - will contain Library Markings. Dust Cover Missing. Book shows a small amount of wear to cover and binding. Some pages show signs of use. Bookseller Inventory # G0803231806I3N11
Book Description University of Nebraska Press, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. This is a used book in good condition and may show some signs of use or wear . Bookseller Inventory # mon0002482139
Book Description University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: None. F/N, hc, new, red cloth at spine with gilt text, black paper covered boards. Black colored paste-downs and end papers, 84 pages. Originally published as "Fiesta al Noroeste" in 1963 in Barcelona. Translated by Phoebe Ann Porter. This item has no dust jacket, as I bought it years ago. It has never been read as I bought it brand new back then and I never got around to that end of the pile. Bookseller Inventory # 002025