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Knopf/Doubleday (Green) Announced Drop-Ins February 2019

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Berta Isla
By (author): Javier Marías
9781984898258 Paperback, Trade Spanish General Trade FICTION / Literary Aug 06, 2019
$22.95 CAD
Active 5.18 x 8 x 0.91 in 544 pages Vintage Español Vintage Espanol
From the award-winning, internationally best-selling Spanish writer, author of The Infatuations, comes a gripping new novel of intrigue and missed chances—at once a spy story and a profound examination of a marriage founded on secrets and lies.

(English edition: Berta Isla / 9780525521365 [Knopf, 08/06/2019])


When Berta Isla was a schoolgirl, she decided she would marry Tomás Nevinson—the dashing half-Spanish, half-English boy in her class with an extraordinary gift for languages. But when Tomás returns to Madrid from his studies at Oxford, he is a changed man. Unbeknownst to her, he has been approached by an agent from the British intelligence services, and he has unwittingly set in motion events that will derail forever the life they had planned. With peerless insight into the most shadowed corners of the human soul, Marías plunges the reader into the growing chasm between Berta and Tomás and the decisions that irreversibly change the course of the couple’s fate. Berta Isla is a novel of love and truth, fear and secrecy, buried identities, and the destinies we bring upon ourselves.

Story Locale: Spain; England

AWARD-WINNING, BEST-SELLING BOOK: Berta Isla is a major best seller in Spain, with 115,000 copies in print. It was unanimously named the Best Book of the Year by the country’s most-read cultural supplement, and won the Premio de la Crítica, a prestigious prize given by critics for the best novel of the year. Marías received the same prize twenty-six years ago for his best-known novel, A Heart So White, and is among a small handful of writers to win twice.

SIMULTANEOUS PUBLICATION: Vintage Español’s edition will be published simultaneously with Knopf’s English edition, and the Spanish edition will benefit from the English publicity push.

AUTHOR: Hailed as the most important Spanish writer working today, Marías has won dozens of international awards and is on the yearly list of candidates for the Nobel.

U.S. PROFILE: Marías’s profile in this country continues to grow. He was honored as a NYPL Lion and his most recent novel, Thus Bad Begins, was longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award and landed on several best-of-the-year lists. The Infatuations was a national best seller, an NBCC finalist, longlisted for the PEN Translation Prize, and reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review.

VINTAGE ESPAÑOL AUDIENCE: Entre eternidades, a paperback original of the author’s essays and columns from the last twenty years, published by Vintage Español in September 2018, showcases Marías’s range.

RETURNING CHARACTERS: The novel stands on its own but Marías’s longtime fans will be pleased to recognize a few characters from his Your Face Tomorrow trilogy, among his most beloved books.

JAVIER MARÍAS was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published fifteen novels, including The Infatuations and A Heart So White, as well as three collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into forty-four languages, has sold more than eight and a half million copies worldwide, and has won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Prix Femina Étranger. Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa.

Author Residence: Madrid

Author Hometown: Madrid

Publicity: National Review Coverage in Spanish-Language Media Outlets, features and interviews

Social Media, both author and Vintage Espanol

Feature on Vintage Espanol Quarterly Newsletter

International praise for Berta Isla

“A marvelous novel that reminds us why fiction, in the hands of the most experienced, continues to be the only way to fully know ourselves.”—Juan Gabriel Vásquez, El País

“A masterpiece.”—Claudio Magris, Corriere della Sera

“Magnificent.”—La Vanguardia

“Exceptional.”—El Periódico

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