Novel , 2020
Winner of the 2019 Café Gijón Novel Prize
A lesson in humanity, as moving as Awakenings by Oliver Sacks, as real and desperate as life itself.
Inspired by his childhood memories of Ibiza’s West End in the 1970s and 80s, on a corner of the island inhabited by working families emigrated from Andalusia, hippies from around the world, and tourists looking to party, José Morella reconstructs the difficult life of his grandfather, Nicomedes, who suffered from mental illness. Morella delves into his family’s history and the combination of fear, lack of understanding, and shame that led them to build a wall of isolation around his grandfather.
With a heterogeneous mix of genres, from his own family stories and autofiction to essay, Morella offers an energetic and electrifying lesson in humanity and compassion. Drawing on testimony, personal experience, nods and references from throughout the cultural spectrum, this book is an unforgettable read.
“José Morella writes with poetic simplicity, and his anti-solemnity is a lesson to be followed.” Elena Poniatowska, Winner of the 2013 Cervantes Prize