The Right Words
Las palabras justas
In these diaries, Milena Busquets writes with impressionist brushstrokes and manages to make the everyday, the things that seem mundane, turn into an epiphany.
This is a diary about sad days and happy days—“euphoria and absolute happiness are a millimeter away from a panic attack”—written without tricks or false pretenses or conceited pomp. It follows this premise: “You write alone when faced with danger; there is no other honest way to do it. The slightest hint of complacency is a sign of cowardice. You first write against yourself, and then against the whole world. You put yourself against the ropes; it’s the most solitary job in the world—you don’t have yourself, you show up completely stripped down, it’s worse than love.”
In these pages, masks show up little by little, but what shows up the most is life: children, love, yoga classes, visits to the psychiatrist, fortuitous encounters, reencounters, walks in the neighborhood, writing as a daily workout…Seduction and the passing of time also appear, along with digressions on true elegance, Proust, Chekhov’s vital and literary lectures, emotion that drives you to tears when celebrating Spielberg’s West Side Story or a fun list of types of readers observed during the long autograph sessions at book fairs. And love, always love: “In love nothing is a waste of time. Everything is useful—the most banal, absurd, ridiculous, humiliating, painful experiences are useful, nothing ever falls on deaf ears. Wasting time is impossible in love; falling in love—even if only for two days, even if it’s silly, even if it’s out of spite or boredom or curiosity—is always useful for precisely the opposite: gaining time.”
With her unique capacity to perfectly balance the frivolous and the profound, Milena Busquets writes with impressionist brushstrokes and manages to make the everyday, the things that seem mundane, turn into an epiphany: the novel erotic charge of the act of putting a mask back on a friend who is wearing it wrong in a bookstore, the psychiatrist’s flirty shoes poking through under the table, the neighbor crying in the middle of the street, the old doorman who reminds you of your old home…In that window into intimacy, there exists something genuinely feminine that is narrated with inimitable vitality and irony.
“A Wildesque writer with a profound, tragic sense of existence.” —Ángeles López, La Razón
“A contemporary Françoise Sagan, with the bittersweet spontaneity of Woody Allen.” —The Bookseller
“Moving; an acrobat of feelings.” —Le Monde
“A literary tsunami.” —Sílvia Marimon, Ara
“Emotion and feeling.” —Marie Claire
“Subtle wisdom.” —Carmen Posadas
Milena Busquets (Barcelona, 1972) studied in Liceo Francés and the University of London. With Anagrama, she has published the novels También esto pasará, a resounding sales and critical success published in over thirty countries in reputable publishing houses, and Gema.