When I Was Mortal by Javier Marias

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These twelve elegant and masterly stories, never before available in English, make a wonderful introduction to the work of Spain's most important contemporary author. When I Was Mortal collects a dozen stories by Javier Marias, "justly considered the most talented Spanish author alive" (Il Messaggero). Victims of mistaken identity, amateur sleuths, professional liars, eavesdroppers, assassins, and failed bodyguards populate these remarkable tales. 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 neglectful ghost.

About Javier Marias

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Javier Marias 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. Margaret Jull Costa has translated into the English more than 35 books, including Nobel Laureate Jose Saramago's "All the Names" & "The Tale of the Unknown Island", Antonio Perez Reverte's "The Flander's Panel", Fernando Pessoa's Book of Disquiet" & Luisa Valenzuela's "Bedside Manners". She lives in London.
Published August 5, 1999 by The Harvill Press. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A first English translation of a 1995 collection comprising 12 elliptical, often insidiously compelling stories from the prizewinning Spanish author, whose highly regarded fiction artfully blends Henry James's subtle indirection with flagrantly Gothic and Grand Guignol narrative materials.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of When I Was Mortal

Publishers Weekly

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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 collecti

Jun 19 2000 | Read Full Review of When I Was Mortal

Publishers Weekly

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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...

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