Some stories, like the Gald'os story and Carmen Mart'in Gaite's 'A clear conscience' depict a journey across Madrid, while in Javier Mar'ias' sinister tale, 'Fallen from fortune', a couple are unaware that their guide to all the usual tourist highlights is leading them to their death. In 'Through the wall' and 'Personality disorders', the characters barely leave their apartments, and the city lurks outside the windows. A rich assortment of characters - adolescent boys obsessed with sex; maids up from the country; provincial girls who slide into prostitution; a small boy excited at the prospect of going downtown with his grandfather; vain, self-absorbed thirty-somethings with too much money; immigrant families far from home; mafia types; diligent office-workers struggling to bring up a family - come alive in the tales.
Few of these stories have previously been translated into English. Some names, such as Benito P'erez Gald'os, Javier Mar'ias, Juan Jos'e Mill'as, and Carmen Mart'in Gaite, will be more familiar than others but all deserve to be better known. There is a map at the back of the book to indicate the places mentioned in the stories and photographs complement and accompany each story.
The reader will also find there biographical notes on the authors and suggestions for further reading.
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