La vieja sirena
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Previously published in: Danish (Gyldendal), French (Librairie Jose Corti), German (Random House), Greek (Govostis) and Italian (Il Saggiatore).

La vieja sirena / The Old Mermaid

Novel , 1990


Pages: 696

A beautiful and exuberant novel about love and commitment, and a sharp, penetrating reflection on the nature of power.

Egypt in the 3rd century. Two great empires, the Roman and the Persian, begin a slow decline. Cloaked in her beauty and mystery the protagonist embarks on an exciting journey, finally arriving in Alexandria, where two men will mark her destiny: Ahram the Navigator, a power-thirsty man of action, and the philosopher Krito, possessor of the gift of the word.

The Old Mermaid is a passionate ode to life, a novel that is both a historical re-creation and a fantastic story of unusual lyricism and sensuality, both a humanistic reflection on the nature of power and a pointed parable about our unstable present.

One of the José Luis Sampedro’s most celebrated novels, in which the deep humanist roots that permeate all his work attain the highest levels of literary beauty.

“A romance, a surprising fresco, a long poem.” Jean-Didier Wagneur