An Invisible Fire
Un incendio invisible
The tense and claustrophobic story of a man who arrives in an emptying city; a writer and a subject that have become central to the narrative of our times.
Un incendio invisible (An invisible fire) tells the story of the final days of a city called Vado, which is in the process of being abandoned by its inhabitants. The protagonist of the story is a renowned doctor who specialises in geriatrics, Dr Tejeda, who arrives in the city to take charge of New Life, an old people’s home, just as everyone is beginning to leave. Tejada looks for a refuge from himself and from his turbid past, but his plans to isolate himself from the world soon become interrupted when he becomes acquainted with a number of the strange inhabitants who are still in the city, like the receptionist at a big hotel with no clients, a nine-year old girl and a researcher of human migration. Peopled by characters who exist at the limits of the real, this novel, winner of the Premio Málaga in 2011, has now been re-published in a new edition supervised by its author.
«Without doubt, Sara Mesa is one of the writers of the moment, and everything points to the possibility that she’s going to stay that way- growing, learning , stretching herself – in the future of Spanish literature » (Manuel Hidalgo, El Mundo).
«Over the last few months Cuatro por cuatro (Four by Four), Cicatriz (Scar) and Mala letra (Bad Writing) by Sara Mesa have become sensations of the Spanish literary scene.» (Christopher Domínguez Michael, Letras Libres).
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