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).
A book by Spain's greatest living writer weaves fiction and fact into a completely original and unforgettable hybrid.
Called by its author a "false novel," Dark Back of Time begins with the tale of the odd effects of publishing All Souls, his witty and sardonic 1989 Oxford novel. All Souls is a book Marías swears to be fiction, but which its "characters"--the real-life dons and professors and bookshop owners who have "recognized themselves"--fiercely maintain to be a roman à clef. With the sleepy world of Oxford set into fretful motion by a world that never "existed," Dark Back of Time begins an odyssey into the nature of identity and of time. Marías weaves together autobiography, a legendary kingdom, strange ghostly literary figures, halls of mirrors, a one-eyed pilot, a curse in Havana, and a bullet lost in Mexico.
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me is a riveting novel of infidelity and a man trapped by a terrible secret.
Marta has only just met Victor when she invites him to dinner at her Madrid apartment while her husband is away on business. When her two-year-old son finally falls asleep, Marta and Victor retreat to the bedroom. Undressing, she feels suddenly ill; and in his arms, inexplicably, she dies. What should Victor do? Remove the compromising tape from the answering machine? Leave food for the child for breakfast? These are just his first steps, but he soon takes matters further; unable to bear the shadows and the unknowing, Victor plunges into dark waters. And Javier Marías, Europe's master of secrets, of what lies reveal and truth may conceal, is on sure ground in this profound, quirky, and marvelous novel.
«La última vez que vi a Miguel Desvern o Deverne fue también la última que lo vio su mujer, Luisa, lo cual no dejó de ser extraño y quizá injusto, ya que ella era eso, su mujer, y yo era en cambio una desconocida…»
Así comienza Los enamoramientos, la nueva novela de Javier Marías, consagrado como uno de los mejores novelistas contemporáneos. María Dolz, la narradora y protagonista, sólo supo su nombre «cuando apareció su foto en el periódico, apuñalado y medio descamisado y a punto de convertirse en un muerto: lo último de lo que se debió de dar cuenta fue de que lo acuchillaban por confusión y sin causa».
Con una prosa profunda y cautivadora, esta novela reflexiona sobre el estado de enamoramiento, considerado casi universalmente como algo positivo e incluso redentor a veces, tanto que parece justificar casi todas las cosas: las acciones nobles y desinteresadas, pero también los mayores desmanes y ruindades.
Los enamoramientos es también un libro sobre la impunidad y sobre la horrible fuerza de los hechos; sobre la inconveniencia de que los muertos pudieran volver, por mucho que se los haya llorado y que en apariencia nada se deseara tanto como su regreso, o al menos que siguieran vivos; también sobre la imposibilidad de saber nunca la verdad cabalmente, ni siquiera la de nuestro pensamiento, oscilante y variable siempre.
An exhilarating, far-ranging collection of non-fiction writing from the internationally acclaimed author of A Heart So White and *The Infatuations*
Internationally renowned writer Javier Marias is a tireless examiner of the world around us, an enthusiastic debunker of pretensions of every kind, a polymath and a rogue. This
selection of his inimitable non-fiction pieces are published together in English for the first time.
Following in the essayistic tradition of Montaigne, Between Eternities ranges widely from the literary to the philosophical to the autobiographical, from football to cinema, comic books to mortality to 'Why Almost No One Can Be Trusted'. Trenchant
and wry, subversive and penetrating, Marias demonstrates a dazzling intellectual vigour, showing with exhilarating verve why he is so often said to be Spain's greatest living writer.
Your Face Tomorrow, Javier Marias's dazzling unfolding magnum opus, is a novel in three parts, which began with Volume One: Fever and Spear. Described as a "brilliant dark novel" (Scotland on Sunday), the book now takes a wild swerve in its new volume. Skillfully constructed around a central perplexing and mesmerizing scene in a nightclub, Volume Two: Dance and Dream again features Jacques Deza. In Volume One he was hired by MI6 as a person of extraordinarily sophisticated powers of perception. In Volume Two Deza discovers the dark side of his new employer when Tupra, his spy-master boss, brings out a sword and uses it in a way that appalls Deza: You can't just go around hurting and killing people like that. Why not? asks Tupra.
Searching meditations on favors and jealousy, knowledge and the deep human desire not to know, violence and death play against memories of the Spanish Civil War as Deza's world becomes increasingly murky.
A Heart so White is the breathtaking international bestseller and IMPAC Award-winning masterpiece by Javier Mar�as, whose highly-anticipated new novel The Infatuations is published in 2013. This Penguin Modern Classics edition features a new Introduction by Jonathan Coe.
A Heart so White begins as, In the middle of a family lunch Teresa, just married, goes to the bathroom, unbuttons her blouse and shoots herself in the heart. What made her kill herself immediately after her honeymoon? Years later, this mystery fascinates the young newlywed Juan, whose father was married to Teresa before he married Juan's mother. As Juan edges closer to the truth, he begins to question his own relationships, and whether he really wants to know what happened. Haunting and unsettling, A Heart So White is a breathtaking portrayal of two generations, two marriages, the relentless power of the past and the terrible price of knowledge.
In addition to his own busy career as "one of Europe's most intriguing contemporary writers" (TLS), Javier Marías is also the translator into Spanish of works by Hardy, Stevenson, Conrad, Faulkner, Nabokov, and Laurence Sterne. His love for these authors is the touchstone of Written Lives. Collected here are twenty pieces recounting great writers' lives, "or, more precisely, snippets of writers' lives." Thomas Mann, Rilke, Arthur Conan Doyle, Turgenev, Djuna Barnes, Emily Brontë, Malcolm Lowry, and Kipling appear ("all fairly disastrous individuals"), and "almost nothing" in his stories is invented.
Like Isak Dinesen (who "claimed to have poor sight, yet could spot a four-leaf clover in a field from a remarkable distance away"), Marías has a sharp eye. Nabokov is here, making "the highly improbable assertion that he is 'as American as April in Arizona,'" as is Oscar Wilde, who, in debt on his deathbed, ordered up champagne, "remarking cheerfully, 'I am dying beyond my means.'" Faulkner, we find, when fired from his post office job, explained that he was not prepared "to be beholden to any son-of-a-bitch who had two cents to buy a stamp." Affection glows in the pages of Written Lives, evidence, as Marías remarks, that "although I have enjoyed writing all my books, this was the one with which I had the most fun."
A story of love and memory.
On a train journey from Paris to Madrid a young opera singer becomes fascinated by those in his compartment: a middle-aged businessman, his alluring wife and their male traveling companion. Soon his life of constant travel, luxury hotels, rehearsal and performance will become entangled with these three people, and the singer will find himself fatefully consumed by Natalia's beauty. The Man of Feeling is the haunting story of the birth and death of a passion, told in retrospect. Intricately interweaving desire and memory, it explores the nature of love, and asks whether we can ever truly recall something that no longer exists.
Award-winning author Javier Marías examines a household living unhappy in the shadow of history, and explores the cruel, tender punishments we exact on those we love.
As a young man, Juan de Vere takes a job that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Eduardo Muriel is a famous film director - urbane, discreet, irreproachable - an irresistible idol to a young man. Muriel's wife Beatriz is a soft, ripe woman who slips through her husband's home like an unwanted ghost, finding solace in other beds. And on the periphery of all their lives stands Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a shadowy family friend implicated in unsavoury rumours that Muriel cannot bear to pursue himself - rumours he asks Juan to investigate instead. But as Juan draws closer to the truth, he uncovers more questions, ones his employer has not asked and would rather not answer. Why does Muriel hate Beatriz? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? And what happened during the war?
As Juan learns more about his employers, he begins to understand the conflicting pulls of desire, power and guilt that govern their lives - and his own. Marias presents a study of the infinitely permeable boundaries between private and public selves, between observer and participant, between the deceptions we suffer from others and those we enact upon ourselves.
A boiled-down gem of a Marías story about how Elvis (in Acapulco to film a movie) and his hard-drinking entourage abandon their interpreter in a seedy cantina full of enraged criminals after insults start to fly. When the local kingpin demands to be told what the Americans are saying, Elvis himself delivers an even more stinging parting shot – and who has to translate that?
At High Table in an Oxford college, the pretty young tutor Clare Bayes attracted all eyes, not least to her fetching décollettage. No one's eyes were sharper, however, than those of the visiting Spanish lecturer, invited as a guest on this occasion, and eventually the two young people were lovers, unbeknown to Clare's husband. And if the Spaniard was at pains to cover their tracks, his beloved left evidence of adultery with gay abandon - and all this in a university that was a forcing house of gossip and intrigue, a place where "at every word a reputation dies".
Part spy novel, part romance, part Henry James, Your Face Tomorrow is a wholly remarkable display of the immense gifts of Javier Marias. With Fever and Spear, Volume One of his unfolding novel Your Face Tomorrow, he returns us to the rarified world of Oxford (the delightful setting of All Souls and Dark Back of Time), while introducing us to territory entirely new--espionage. Our hero, Jaime Deza, separated from his wife in Madrid, is a bit adrift in London until his old friend Sir Peter Wheeler retired Oxford don and semi-retired master spy recruits him for a new career in British Intelligence. Deza possesses a rare gift for seeing behind the masks people wear. He is soon observing interviews conducted by Her Majesty's secret service: variously shady international businessmen one day, would-be coup leaders the next. Seductively, this metaphysical thriller explores past, present, and future in the ever-more-perilous 21st century. This compelling and enigmatic tour de force from one of Europe's greatest writers continues with Volume Two, Dance and Dream."
Poison, Shadow, and Farewell, with its heightened tensions between meditations and noir narrative, with its wit and and ever deeper forays into the mysteries of consciousness, brings to a stunning finale Marías’s three-part Your Face Tomorrow. Already this novel has been acclaimed “exquisite“ (Publishers Weekly), “gorgeous” (Kirkus), and “outstanding: another work of urgent originality” (London Independent). Poison, Shadow, and Farewell takes our hero Jaime Deza―hired by MI6 as a person of extraordinarily sophisticated powers of perception―back to Madrid to both spy on and try to protect his own family, and into new depths of love and loss, with a fluency on the subject of death that could make a stone weep.
A daring masterwork by Javier Marias: "Spain's most subtle and gifted writer." (The Boston Globe) Part spy novel, part romance, part Henry James, Your Face Tomorrow is a wholly remarkable display of the immense gifts of Javier Marias. With Fever and Spear, Volume One of his unfolding novel Your Face Tomorrow, he returns us to the rarified world of Oxford (the delightful setting of All Souls and Dark Back of Time), while introducing us to territory entirely new--espionage. Our hero, Jaime Deza, separated from his wife in Madrid, is a bit adrift in London until his old friend Sir Peter Wheeler--retired Oxford don and semi-retired master spy--recruits him for a new career in British Intelligence. Deza possesses a rare gift for seeing behind the masks people wear. He is soon observing interviews conducted by Her Majesty's secret service: variously shady international businessmen one day, would-be coup leaders the next. Seductively, this metaphysical thriller explores past, present, and future in the ever-more-perilous 21st century. This compelling and enigmatic tour de force from one of Europe's greatest writers continues with Volume Two, Dance and Dream.
A Dozen unforgettable stories by "one of the most original writers at work today" (Wyatt Mason, The New York Times Book Review). Slippery figures in anomalous situations - ghosts, spies, bodyguards, criminals - haunt these stories by Javier Marías, "the most subtle and gifted writer in contemporary Spanish literature" (The Boston Globe)