The Back Room by Carmen Martin GaiteThe Back Room by Carmen Martin Gaite

The Back Room

byCarmen Martin GaiteTranslated byHelen Lane

Paperback | January 11, 2001

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Winner of Spain's National Prize for LiteratureIn the middle of the night, a woman awakens to find a stranger in her bedroom. Though she cannot determine who he is - or, indeed, whether he is even real at all and not just an extension of her dreams or her writing - she is drawn into a conversation with her unexpected guest. What she tells him becomes the story of a woman coming of age in the repressive Spain of the Franco era.In The Back RoomCarmen Martin Gaite spins out a hypnotic evocation of one woman's life counterpointed against the social history of modern Spain. The growth of a personal identity and the terrors of fascism are woven together within the delicate fabric of this dreamlike narrative. The result is an intimate and existential confessional - part autobiography, part fiction. In direct and simple language, Martin Gaite envisions life within a world besieged. This, her finest work, explores the back room of memorywith a quiet but irresistible power.The winner of Spain's 1978 National Prize for Literature, Gaite's postmodern novel interweaves dreams and fantasies with autobiography and Spanish history, resulting in a book that is complex and elusive, but more than worth the effort." - Publishers Weekly"Some of the cultural specifics in this 1978 novel from Spain - songs, doll furniture, movies - may be meaningful only for Spanish readers. But Martin Gaite's novel, the first in Columbia's new Twentieth Century Continental Fiction Program, is artful and engaging nonetheless, a book of intelligent moods modulating into one another." - Kirkus Reviews". . . intensely serious, literary and wryly humorous, [her] mesmerizing, labyrinthine sentences induce a sense of wandering the corridors and topiaried gardens of Marienbad." - Sunday TimesCarmen Martin Gaite was one of Spain's leading novelists. She was the author of numerous works of fiction and criticism, including Variable Cloud and The Farewell Angel. The Back Room was the first of her novels to appear in Spain after the death of Franco, and the first to be translated into English. In 1978 it was awarded Spain's National Prize for Literature."
Carmen Martín Gaite is one of Spain's leading novelists. She is the author of numerous works of fiction and criticism, including Variable Clouds and, most recently, The Farewell Angel. The Back Room was the first of her novels to appear in Spain after the death of Franco, and the first of her novels to be translated into ...
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Title:The Back RoomFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 7.2 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:January 11, 2001Publisher:City Lights PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0872863719

ISBN - 13:9780872863712

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Gaite's postmodern novel interweaves dreams and fantasies with autobiography and Spanish history, resulting in a book that is complex and elusive, but more than worth the effort... The language in this fine translation is sensual and lucid: the tastes, smells and customs of postwar Spain are vivid, and emotions, and ideas have a dream logic that is both evocative and precise."      -- Publishers Weekly   "The Back Room serves as a superb introduction to a writer whose blend of moral seriousness and self-reflexive impishness deserves a wide readership among those who like fiction that risks 'a breach of habit."      -- The Boston Globe   "The Back Room is an excellent introduction to a writer underappreciated in the United States. Carmen Gaite explores the back room of memory, a scary place sometimes, but one filled with treasures for readers who venture there." -- The St. Petersburg Times   "A serious, fascinating work, indeed a great novel... leaves its readers mesmerized." - ABC Literario   "Excellently plotted and written with that perfect simplicity that tends to escape notice and which has characterized Gaite's novels from the start ... She has once again made the difficult art of writing into easy reading." - El Mundo   ". . . intensely serious, literary and wryly humorous, [her] mesmerizing, labyrinthine sentences induce a sense of wandering the corridors and topiaried gardens of Marienbad." - Sunday Times