By Javier Marías, Margaret Jull Costa
A guy marries a lady and after the honeymoon she commits suicide. consequently, he marries her sister and has a son. the unconventional, which received the Spanish Critics' Award, recounts the son's efforts to find the reality of that mysterious tragedy. by way of the writer of All Souls.
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They insist on reminding us that the relationship between the two is liquid, slippery, and in a constant state of flux. Even punctuation has its part to play. Marías rarely – if ever – uses colons or semi-colons mid-sentence, instead entrusting the frail and vulnerable comma with the task of keeping up a barrier between what is particular and what is general, and then relishing the inevitable breakdown, the inevitable seepage between the two. Opening A Heart So White at random, I quickly chance upon the following example: Luisa had suddenly become angry, but I couldn’t tell if it was because I hadn’t told her what I acknowledged I’d heard or if her anger was aimed at Guillermo, or perhaps at Miriam, or even at men in general, women have more of a community feeling than we do and often get angry with all men at the same time.
The breast that hadn’t taken the full impact of the blast was clearly visible, maternal and white and still firm, and everyone instinctively looked at that breast, more than anything in order to avoid looking at the other, which no longer existed or was now nothing but blood. It had been many years since her father had seen that breast, not since its transformation, not since it began to be maternal, and for that reason, he felt not only frightened but troubled too. The other girl, her sister, who had seen the changes wrought by adolescence and possibly later too, was the first to touch her, with a towel (her own pale blue towel, which was the one she usually picked up), with which she began to wipe the tears from her sister’s face, tears mingled with sweat and water, because before the tap had been turned off, the jet of water had been splashing against the basin and drops had fallen on to her sister’s face, her white breast, her crumpled skirt, as she lay on the floor.
S. Johnson. For Julia Altares despite Julia Altares and for Lola Manera of Havana, in memoriam PENGUIN MODERN CLASSICS TOMORROW IN THE BATTLE THINK ON ME ‘Marías is one of the best contemporary writers’ J. M. Coetzee ‘It is a rare gift, to be offered a writer who lives in our own time but speaks with the intensity of the past, who comes with the extra richness lent by foreign history and nonetheless knows our own culture inside out … When you take up a Marías novel, or even a short story, you are at once enclosed in a strange world that becomes increasingly and addictively familiar’ Wendy Lesser, The New York Times ‘He has something of W.