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PGC Spring 2019 - Consortium Adult

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From the Shadows
By (author): Juan Jose Millas Translated by: Thomas Bunstead Translated by: Daniel Hahn
9781942658665 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Absurdist Sep 06, 2019
$25.50 CAD
Active 5 x 7.5 x 0.56 in 208 pages Bellevue Literary Press

Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Book of the Year” selection

“Begins as entertaining slapstick, subtly metamorphoses into fable. . . . As [the narrator’s] vivid imaginary world fuses with reality this deceptively ethereal novel advances toward a dark and startling finale.” —Wall Street Journal

Laid off from his job, Damián Lobo obsessively imagines himself as a celebrity being interviewed on TV. After committing an act of petty theft at an antiques market, he finds himself trapped inside a wardrobe and delivered to the seemingly idyllic home of a husband, wife, and their internet-addicted teenage daughter. There, he sneaks from the shadows to serve as an invisible butler, becoming deeply and disastrously involved with his unknowing host family. Every thread of the plot is ingeniously tied together, creating a potent admixture of parable, love story, and thriller. Millás masterfully reveals the everyday as innately surreal as he renders the unbelievable tangible and the trivial fantastical, and full of dark humor.

Juan José Millás is the recipient of Spain’s most prestigious literary prizes: the Premio Nadal, Premio Planeta, and Premio Nacional de Narrativa. A regular contributor toEl País, Millás has also won many awards for his journalism. He is the author of several short story collections and works of nonfiction as well as over a dozen novels, includingFrom the Shadows, the first of his novels to be published in North America. He lives in Madrid.

Juan José Millás is the recipient of Spain’s most prestigious literary prizes: the Premio Nadal, Premio Planeta, and Premio Nacional de Narrativa. A regular contributor toEl País, Millás has also won many awards for his journalism. He is the author of several short story collections and works of nonfiction as well as over a dozen novels, includingFrom the Shadows, the first of his novels to be published in North America. He lives in Madrid.

Thomas Bunstead is a writer and translator of leading Spanish-language writers, including Eduardo Halfon, Agustín Fernández Mallo, Juan José Millás, and Juan Villoro. His co-translation of Enrique Vila-Matas’sA Brief History of Portable Literature was a semifinalist for the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Translation Prize. He also writes for theTimes Literary Supplement andParis Review Daily and is an editor of the literary translation journalIn Other Words. He lives in Lewes, England.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor, and translator with some fifty books to his name, including novels by José Eduardo Agualusa, Eduardo Halfon, and Juan José Millás. His translations from Portuguese, Spanish, and French include fiction from Europe, Africa, and the Americas and nonfiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé. He is also the editor of the newOxford Companion to Children’s Literature. He lives in Lewes, England.

Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Book of the Year” selection
Thrillist “Best Books of the Year” selection
World Literature Today “Notable Translations of the Year” selection
Asymptote Book Club selection
Words Without Borders “Watchlist” selection

“Begins as entertaining slapstick, subtly metamorphoses into fable. . . . As [the narrator’s] vivid imaginary world fuses with reality this deceptively ethereal novel advances toward a dark and startling finale.” —Wall Street Journal

“Spectacularly surreal and cerebral. . . . [From the Shadows] carves a labyrinthine path through a mind withstanding both physical and mental confinements, and the language, rife with darkness and comedy, traces the fine walls of worlds both real and imagined with Kafkaesque soliloquy.” —Asymptote Journal

“Millás makes the incredulous believable. A seductive narrator, brisk dialogue, and a unique claustrophobic setting contribute to a distinctive blend of Kafka’s surrealism and Pirandello’s absurdism. . . . A quick, riveting read.” —World Literature Today

“The compact, surreal story . . . is uproarious and unnerving in equal measure, and is far too riveting to put down.” —Thrillist

“Incredibly strange, truly bizarre—one of the most original stories. . . . Impossible to put down.” —Shelf Unbound

“An entertainingly presented look at social isolation and dependency.” —Complete Review

“A fable of survival in a consumerist society.” —Seattle Review of Books

“Part surreal comedy, part dark parable, Millás’s wild work brings readers face to face with the mundane facets of middle-class suburban life. . . . A page-turner of the strangest order, Millás’s debut stuns and entrances. It’s impossible to put down.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A compelling stew of comedy, philosophy, and even tragedy,From the Shadows maintains a light touch, even as sinister undertones bubble underneath.” —Foreword Reviews

“Spectacularly bizarre. . . . A Kafkaesque story about transformation and our collective human desire to connect with one another.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A penetrating parable of suburban family life. . . . Millás tells a compelling story of human connection in a way that is sometimes crude but also darkly funny, insightful and ultimately surprising.” —Shelf Awareness for Readers

“[From the Shadows is] about alienation, loneliness, voyeurism, and the power of fantasy to transform claustrophobic, humdrum lives. Written by one of Spain’s most original and important authors and set in contemporary Madrid . . . [it] pays tribute to a very Spanish tradition, embodied by, among others, surrealists like Luis Buñuel [whose] 1962 film,The Exterminating Angel, [is] another claustrophobic allegory that turns middle-class comfort into a desert island.” —Public Books

“The narrative of Juan José Millás, our literary Buster Keaton, is inimitable and unique.” —La Vanguardia

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