Madrid Tales

ISBN : 9780199583270

Helen Constantine; Margaret Jull Costa
326 Pages
128 x 196 mm
Pub date
Apr 2012
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  • The first anthology of stories exclusively set in Madrid takes in the key places - the Gran Vía, the Prado, the Retiro Park, and the Plaza Mayor - and reveals Madrid life in all its facets
  • None of these stories have previously been translated into English.
  • Includes the finest and most evocative tales of Madrid, some by well-known writers such as Benito Pérez Galdós, Javier Marías, Juan José Millás, and Carmen Martín Gaite; others by writers whose names will be less familiar
  • Translated by prize-winning translator Margaret Jull Costa, whose awards include the 2009 and 2010 Premio Valle-Inclán for, respectively, The Accordionist's Son by Bernardo Atxaga and Your Face Tomorrow 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewellby Javier Marías

The buzzing life of bars, warm evenings by the Manzanares river, the subterranean terrors of the Metro, icy winters and hot, empty summers, student days in the sixties, the ruthless underworld of the city's mafia - this captivating anthology reflects the character of Madrid and the lives of the madrilenos, as its inhabitants are called, in all their splendid variety. Some stories are bizarre, some funny, some serious, and as you read you'll travel through the city. The famous streets and monuments of Madrid - Cibeles, Calle de Alcalá, Plaza Mayor, and the Royal Palace - as well as the poor, working-class barrios unfrequented by sightseers will pass before your eyes like a moving picture. Some stories, like the Galdós story and Carmen Martín Gaite's 'A clear conscience' depict a journey across Madrid, while in Javier Marías' sinister tale, 'Fallen from fortune', a couple are unaware that their guide to all the usual tourist highlights is leading them to their death. In 'Through the wall' and 'Personality disorders', the characters barely leave their apartments, and the city lurks outside the windows. A rich assortment of characters - adolescent boys obsessed with sex; maids up from the country; provincial girls who slide into prostitution; a small boy excited at the prospect of going downtown with his grandfather; vain, self-absorbed thirty-somethings with too much money; immigrant families far from home; mafia types; diligent office-workers struggling to bring up a family - come alive in the tales.
Few of these stories have previously been translated into English. Some names, such as Benito Pérez Galdós, Javier Marías, Juan José Millás, and Carmen Martín Gaite, will be more familiar than others but all deserve to be better known. 
There is a map at the back of the book to indicate the places mentioned in the stories and photographs complement and accompany each story. The reader will also find there biographical notes on the authors and suggestions for further reading.


General Introduction
The Novel on the Tram, Benito Pérez Galdós
The Solution, Emilia Pardo Bazán
Sunday Morning, Alonso Zamora Vicente
A Testing Time, Juan García Hortelano
Murder at the Atlantic, Guillermo Busutil
Luzmila, Álvaro Pombo
The Ballad of the River Manzanares, Ignacio Aldecoa
A Clear Conscience, Carmen Martín Gaite
Restless Eyes, Medardo Fraile
Mozart, K.124, for flute and orchestra, Jorge Ferrer-Vidal
Through the Wall, Marina Mayoral
Return Journey, Carlos Castán
Flying Fish, Eloy Tizón
Let the Passengers Out, José Ferrer Bermejo
Fallen from Fortune, Javier Marías
Personality Disorders, Juan José Millás
How can this be happening to me?, Carmen Posadas
Manolito's Toggle, Elvira Lindo
Sign and Message, José María Merino

About the author: 

Edited by Helen Constantine
Margaret Jull Costa

Helen Constantine taught languages in schools until 2000, when she became a full-time translator. She has published three volumes of translated stories, Paris TalesFrench Tales, and Paris Metro Tales and is currently editing a series of City Tales for Oxford University Press. She has translated Mademoiselle de Maupin by Théophile Gautier and Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos for Penguin. She is married to the writer David Constantine and with him edits the international magazine Modern Poetry in Translation.
Margaret Jull Costa has been a literary translator for over twenty years and has translated many novels and short stories by Portuguese, Spanish and Latin American writers, among them Nobel laureate José Saramago, Fernando Pessoa, Carmen Martín Gaite, and Juan José Saer. She has won various prizes for her work, including, in 2008, the PEN Book-of-the-Month Translation Award and the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize for her version of Eça de Queiroz's masterpiece The Maias. More recently she won the 2009 and 2010 Premio Valle-Inclán for, respectively, The Accordionist's Son by Bernardo Atxaga and Your Face Tomorrow 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell by Javier Marías.
Benito Pérez Galdós
Emilia Pardo Bazán
Alonso Zamora Vicente
Juan García Hortelano
Guillermo Busutil
Álvaro Pombo
Ignacio Aldecoa
Carmen Martín Gaite
Medardo Fraile
Jorge Ferrer-Vidal
Marina Mayoral
Carlos Castán
Eloy Tizón
José Ferrer Bermejo
Javier Marías
Juan José Millás
Carmen Posadas
Elvira Lindo
José María Merino

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