Gonzalo Torrente Ballester

Gonzalo Torrente Ballester

Los gozos y las sombras
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Previously published in: German (Klett-Cotta), Croatian (August Cesare), French (Actes Sud), Polish (Panstowy Instytut Wydawniczy), Portuguese (Portugal: Difel) and Romanian (Univers).

Los gozos y las sombras / Joys and Shadows

Novel , 1957


Pages: 1216

One of the great classics of 20th century Spanish literature, and a sales phenomenon thanks to the TV adaptation. Replete with passions, betrayals, and deeply held grudges between two conflicting lineages embroiled in a power struggle on the Galician coast.

Pueblanueva del Conde, a coastal village in Galicia, watches as airs of social and economic change alter its centuries-old traditional order. Old landowners are giving way to new money, and the old fishing fleet resists the rise of the modern ship-building industry.

The long-awaited return of Carlos Deza, last of the Churruchaos line that has held power in the village from time immemorial, is viewed by the villagers as their last chance to challenge the supremacy of Cayetano Salgado, the new master of Pueblanueva, who rules with the impunity of economic power. However, Carlos’s indecisive personality and lack of interest in worldly matters will take the situation in unexpected directions.

The conflict, which also delves into the realm of passions involving most of the characters, vividly portrays the clash of eras and mentalities that occurred in pre-war Galicia. As late as the 1930s, Galician society was transitioning from the 19th century to capitalism with scarcely any fundamental change.

Joys and Shadows recovers the volumes The Lord Arrives (1957), Where the Air Returns (1960) and The Sad Easter (1962), to bring them together in a single edition to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of the author.