ABOUT THIS BOOK
Widely regarded as one of the best works by the winner of the 1989 Nobel Prize for Literature, San Camilo, 1936 appears here for the first time in English translation. One of Spain’s most popular writers, Camilo José Cela is recognized for his experiments with language and with difficult subject matter. In San Camilo, 1936, first published in 1969, these concerns converge in a fascinating narrative that is as challenging as it is rewarding, as troubling as it is compelling.
A story of history as it happens, by turns confusing and startingly clear, echoing with news and rumors, defined by grand gestures and intimate pauses, the novel leads the reader into the ordinary life of extraordinary times. Beginning on the eve of the Spanish Civil War, San Camilo, 1936 follows a twenty-year-old student’s attempts to sort out his private affairs (sex, money, career) in the midst of the turmoil overtaking his country. In vivid and richly textured prose that distinguishes Cela’s work, the emotional reality of civil war takes on a vibrant immediacy that is humorous, tender, and ultimately transforming as a young man tries to come to terms with the historical moment he inhabits—and hopes to survive.
Readers new to Cela will find in this novel ample reason for the author’s growing reputation among audiences worldwide.