Carmen Laforet’sNadaranks among the most important literary works of post-Civil War Spain. Loosely based on the author’s own life, it is the story of an orphaned young woman who leaves her small town to attend university in war-ravaged Barcelona.
Residing amid genteel poverty in a mysterious house on Calle de Aribau, young Andrea falls in with a wealthy band of schoolmates who provide a rich counterpoint to the squalor of her home life. As experience overtakes innocence, Andrea gradually learns the disquieting truth about the people she shares her life with: her overbearing and superstitious aunt Angustias; her nihilistic yet artistically gifted uncle Román and his violent brother Juan; and Juan’s disturbingly beautiful wife, Gloria, who secretly supports the clan with her gambling. From existential crisis to a growing maturity and resolve, Andrea’s passionate inner journey leaves her wiser, stronger, and filled with hope for the future.
The incomparable Edith Grossman’s vital new translation captures the feverish energy of Laforet’s magnificent story, showcasing its dark, powerful imagery, and its subtle humor. And Mario Vargas Llosa’s Introduction illuminates Laforet’s brilliant depiction of life during the early days of the Franco regime. With crystalline insight into the human condition, Carmen Laforet’s classic novel stands poised to reclaim its place as one of the great novels of twentieth-century Europe.
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Available in English for the first time in the U.S., Laforet's moody and sepulchral debut novel, a 1945 Spanish cult classic, has been given new life by acclaimed translator Grossman. The story ... Read full review
This is a fantastic read and a wonderful explanation of life after the war. The translation is spot on, as I read it in Spanish, too.