Cara de pan
Cara de pan
The first encounter takes place in a park. She is Casi (Almost), a teenager who’s “almost” fourteen years old; he, the Elder, is much older.
Their first contact is fortuitous, but they will meet again several times. She is escaping the impositions of school and has a hard time interacting with the world around her. He likes watching birds and listening to Nina Simone, he doesn’t have a job and has a problematic past.
These two elusive and wounded characters will embark on an inappropriate, intolerable, suspicious relationship that will provoke incomprehension and rejection and in which what is happening, what is said that is happening and what is interpreted to be happening aren’t necessarily the same thing.
An elusive, obsessive, disturbing and uncomfortable story but at the same time oddly magnetic, in which the taboos, the fear of leaping into the void of adult life and the difficulties to adjust to social conventions …The ambitious literary career of Sara Mesa takes a giant leap forward with this novel about two rootless beings whose destinies cross paths in a park, a defense of feeling out of place and different.
«When you find yourself caught in the spiderweb of Sara Mesa’s fiction, you wonder how she does it, what the substance is that glues you to her books—that asphalt that impregnates you while you’re reading as well as hours and days after you have closed the book. With Cara de pan it happens again.» —Carlos Zanón, Babelia, El País (Book of the Week)
«What is fascinating about Sara Mesa is her ability to map the human condition through losers, the abuse of power, oppressive and isolated places, the slow and continuous degradation. That’s why her novels are so interesting: because they are always rough, bitter, sincere, dark, unpleasant and slow».—Ángeles López, La Razón
«Cara de pan is pure Sara Mesa, though with a new touch of melancholy. A disturbing and provocative novel.» —Luisgé Martín
«A very literary novel due to the wise use of narrative times. The chiaroscuros are better at explaining the human being and literature was born to remind us of this. A much-needed novel for our times.» —José María Pozuelo Yvancos, Abc Cultural
«A couple of characters who meet when perhaps they shouldn’t have, and that make us question our own prejudices, the labels we put on others and our own notions of normality.» —Eva Piquer, Ara
«The return of Sara Mesa with her most perfect of novel, Cara de pan.» —Charo Ramos, Diario de Sevilla
«One of the most unique voices in Spanish literature—a very personal literary universe.» —Jesús Morillo, Ed. Sevilla
«Sara Mesa takes it to another level, making us turn the pages of this novel with much fear and apprehension, and a curiosity full of doubts and uncertainty.» —Iñaki Urdanibia, Kaosenlared.net
«A very strange novel within the Spanish literary tradition. And a style that seems crafted for this particular story…. We are in the presence of a little masterpiece.» —J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip
TRANSLATION RIGHTS SALES
- USA (Open Letter)
- Germany (Wagenbach)
- Norway (Cappelen Damm)
- Portugal (Teodolito)
- Greece (Ikaros)
- Italy (Giunti)
- The Netherlands (Wereldbibliotheek)
- Denmark (Forlaget Apuleius)
Sara Mesa (Madrid, 1976) has lived in Seville since childhood. She has published the novels Un incendio invisible (Premio Málaga de Novela) and El trepanador de cerebros, and the story collections No es fácil ser verde and La sobriedad del galápago. With her poetry collection Este jilguero she won the Premio Nacional de Poesía Miguel Hernández en 2007. With Anagrama she has published Cuatro por cuatro: «An original novel full of talent» (Pablo Martínez Zarracina, Bilbao); «A stripped-down language, using brief and forceful syntax, which often focuses on a suggestion or a detail as expressive as it is devastating» (Ana Rodríguez Fischer, El País); «A very good novel» (Eva Muñoz, La Vanguardia); «A new narrative voice emerges which is destined to lead to important things in Spanish fiction of the XXIst Century» (Ángel Basanta, El Mundo); «A cold and naked novel, full of powerful images that make the reader uneasy as they draw him in» (Marta Sanz, El Confidencial); «A disquieting invitation to look with new eyes at isolated educational environments» (María Bengoa, El Correo Español); «What can I say about a story in which everything works?... A new author that will surprise us further in future» (Sergio Sancor, Libros y literatura); «Sara Mesa. Don’t forget that name. The finalist for the XXXth Premio Herralde de Novela. Read it. Share it. Talk about it. Open the book and begin. You won’t be able to put it down.» (Uxue, Un libro al día).
Photo: © Sonia Fraga
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