The Fall of Madrid
La caída de Madrid
A crucial day: 19th November 1975. While Franco is lying on his deathbed, the rules of a new game are being written. The characters of La caída de Madrid, the business man Ricart, superintendent Arroyo, professor Chacón, the university student Quini, the worker Lucio... face the future with a level of uncertainty, certainty or frivolity which depends on the actions of their past. The counterpoint that sustains the complex narrative structure is a dialectic of social classes, through which the characters' lives are narrated; lives that interlace through diverse plots and create that illusion of real life which any novel should aim to acheive. La caída de Madrid is a novel of personal strategies and of collective pacts that end up in the sewer of selfishness and treason. It is also a necessary and brave re-reading of the immediate past, written with the aim of explaining the present. The novel is a step forward in the author's literary career, in the search for a bright prose that tries to undermine the complicity between the reader and the book that, frequently, are just traps that daze and lull us into a guilty agreement. Only from the acknowledgement of the barbarism is it possible to rise again.
TRANSLATION RIGHTS SALES
- Germany (Antje Kunstmann and Heyne)
- Italy (Frassinelli)
- The Netherlands (Menken, Kasander & Wigman)
- France (Rivages)
- Croatia (Mozaik)
- Serbia & Montenegro (Alfa-Narodna)
Rafael Chirbes (Tabernes de Valldigna 1949 – Beniarneig, Spain, 2015) studied Modern and Contemporary History in Madrid. He worked as a literary critic and wrote for a travel magazine for some years. His novel La larga marcha was awarded in Germany with the SWR/Die Bestenliste Prize. Among many other awards, with Crematorio (2007) and En la orilla (2014) he obtained the Critics Prize, and with En la orilla also the National Prize for Narrative.
A tribute to Rafael Chirbes by Valerie Miles.