Javier Marķas When I Was Mortal

ISBN 13: 9780811215169

When I Was Mortal

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9780811215169: When I Was Mortal
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A dozen stories by Javier Marías ― "the most subtle and gifted writer in contemporary Spanish literature" (Boston Sunday Globe) ― commissioned from numerous literary publications around the world.

Victims of mistaken identity, sponging relatives, amateur sleuths, eavesdroppers, professional liars, assassins, and failed bodyguards populate the short stories in When I Was Mortal. Plots turn on curious exigencies―a woman about to star in her first porn film; a night doctor who adds new meaning to "specialist"; a ghost whose neglect is greatly resented. "In the space of ten or twenty pages," as the Nouvel Observateur remarked, "Marías contrives to write a novel." "The short story fits Marías like a glove," as Le Point noted, and these stories have been acclaimed as "dazzling" (The London Times Literary Supplement); "formidably intelligent" (The London Review of Books); and "startling" (The New York Times Book Review).

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About the Author:

Javier Marķas is an award-winning Spanish novelist. He is also a translator and columnist, as well as the current king of Redonda. He was born in Madrid in 1951 and published his first novel at the age of nineteen. He has held academic posts in Spain, the US (he was a visiting professor at Wellesley College) and Britain, as a lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University. He has been translated into 34 languages, and more than six million copies of his books have been sold worldwide. In 1997 he won the Nelly Sachs Award; the Comunidad de Madrid award in 1998; in 2000 the Grinzane Cavour Award, the Alberto Moravia Prize, and the Dublin IMPAC Award. He also won the Spanish National Translation Award in 1979 for his translation of Tristram Shandy in 1979. He was a professor at Oxford University and the Complutense of Madrid. He currently lives in Madrid.

From Publishers Weekly:

Like Borges, who felt that every story benefited from a good mystery, Mar!as (A Heart So White) packs murder, intrigue, even ghosts into nearly every one of the dozen short narratives in this collection. Mar!as, one of Spain's most prominent contemporary writers, shows his macabre playfulness right from the start. In "The Night Doctor," a dinner party leads to a nighttime walk through Paris, and introduces two similar Italian women with similarly unpleasant husbands, and a mysterious doctor whose evening visits may put a permanent end to their marital problems. In "Broken Binoculars," a seemingly innocuous conversation at the racetrack develops into a frank discussion of assassination. "Flesh Sunday" features a man looking out from the balcony of his honeymoon hotel room. While his wife lies on the bed behind him, he watches a woman who may--or may not--be waiting for him. These tales, like others in the collection, are enigmatic, almost elliptical, and are related by a narrator distinguished by his urbane wit and unflappability. The one long story here, "Blood on a Spear," typifies the author's taste for misdirection. The intriguing opening scene shows the narrator's friend murdered, impaled on his bed with a naked woman by his side. As the unnamed narrator investigates, he learns that little is as it initially seems. In a foreword, Mar!as reveals that nearly all the short fictions were written on commission, and that many came with external requirements (such as a summer setting, or a crime element), which heightened Mar!as's literary gamesmanship. The foreword also discloses, amusingly, that "Broken Binoculars" originally appeared with the first page accidentally discarded, in what Mar!as calls "the worst printer's error ever perpetrated on one of my texts." (Apr.) FYI: Mar!as won the 1997 International IMPAC Literary Award for A Heart So White.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780811214315: When I Was Mortal

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ISBN 10:  0811214311 ISBN 13:  9780811214315
Publisher: New Directions, 2000
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9781860466106: When I Was Mortal

The Ha..., 1999
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9781860468919: When I Was Mortal

The Ha..., 2001
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