Or, What the Coalition is Missing

El triunfo (The Triumph)
by Francisco Casavella
(Ed. Anagrama, 1991)
What if Hamlet were a gypsy mobster (and spoke like one)? This is the impressive debut by Spanish literature’s enfant terrible, author of 2002’s book of the year The Day of the Watusi.

Cinc nits de febrer (Five Nights of February)
by Eduard Màrquez
(Quaderns Crema/Alianza, 2000)
Chance and sorrow are the main subjects in the oeuvre of this Auster-esque Catalan author, also responsible for the short story collection The Eloquence of the Sniper.

Esta noche moriré (Tonight I’m Gonna Die)
by Fernando Marías
(Destino, 1996)
Is life one big sad joke? Are we all losers in this too-soon-to-end game? Wouldn’t it be great if the answer was no? Marías’s main character will commit suicide after being confronted by these titillating questions.

Nunca se sabe (You Never Know)
by Imma Monsó
(Edicions 62/Tusquets, 1997)
The 1978 Gewürtztraminer has a very special bouquet. Also, it will swap the personalities of those who drink it together. Will Franz Hoozenberger’s life be any different after such an experience?

El alma del controlador aéreo (The Soul of the Air-Traffic Controller)
by Justo Navarro
(Anagrama, 2000)
After the death of Eduardo Alibrandi, Eduardo Alibrandi (a cousin of the deceased) returns to Granada in search of some family stories and the key to his own identity.

El misterio de todos los días (The Mystery of Everyday)
by Clara Sánchez
(Alfaguara, 1999)
Elena examines her sexuality as a means to confront the metaphoric boundaries of captivity and responsibility.

Sed de champán (Champagne Thirsty)
by Montero Glez
(Edhasa/Muchnik, 1999)
Low-class car thief challenges mob boss for the love of a gorgeous whore. Glez is fast, funny, shameless, and cool.

Animals tristos (Sad Animals)
by Jordi Puntí
(Salamandra/Empúries, 2003)
Urban realism and couples on the verge of an emotional breakdown, the distance between silence and desire, pain and routine.

Fuegos con limón (Fires with Lemon)
by Fernando Aramburu
(Tusquets, 1996)
Hilario Goicoechea joins La Placa, an avant-garde, Surrealist, poetic, and picaresque Basque group, believing it’s possible to turn life into one of the beaux arts.

Este latente mundo (This Breathing World)
by José Luis de Juan
(Alba, 1999)
A copyist in ancient Rome and an assasinated Harvard student have something in common. Two times of death, two different worlds, and a single destiny: to become the main characters of José Luis de Juan’s masterpiece.

—Milo J. Krmpotic

Milo J. Krmpotic is a critic and writer for Qué Leer, the best-selling literary magazine in Spain.

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