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A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF 2017 A classic Catalan work about love, family, and class during the Spanish Civil war.
Spain, 1937. Posted to the Aragonese front, Lieutenant Lluis Ruscalleda eschews the drunken antics of his comrades and goes in search of intrigue. But the lady of Castel de Olivo--a beautiful widow with a shadowy past--puts a high price on her affections. In Barcelona, Trini Milmany struggles to raise Lluis's son on her own, letters from the front her only solace. With bombs falling as fast as the city's morale, she leaves to spend the winter with Lluis's brigade on a quiet section of the line. But even on "dead" fronts the guns do not stay silent for long. Trini's decision will put her family's fate in the hands of Juli Soleras, an old friend and a traitor of easy conscience, a philosopher-cynic locked in an eternal struggle with himself. Joan Sales, a combatant in the Spanish Civil War, distilled his experiences into a timeless story of thwarted love, lost youth, and crushed illusions. A thrilling epic that has drawn comparison with the work of Dostoyevsky and Stendhal, Uncertain Glory is a homegrown counterpart to classics such as Homage to Catalonia and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
About the Author
Joan Sales (1912-1983) was born in Barcelona to a Catalan family. In 1932, he earned a law degree from the University of Barcelona and in 1933 married Maria Nuria Folch. Their daughter, Nuria, was born the following year. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Sales, who was a member of several regional anarchist and Communist groups, fought for the Republican government on the Madrid and Aragonese fronts before going into exile in France in 1939. He moved to Dominica in 1940, then Mexico in 1942, finally returning to Catalonia in 1948. In 1955 he co-founded the publishing house Club Editor, where he would edit and publish some of the most important authors of twentieth-century Catalan literature, among them Marius Torres and Merce Rodoreda, as well as his own work, including a book of poems, Viatge d'un moribund (1952); a collection of letters from his wartime and exile experiences, Cartes a Marius Torres (1976); and a Catalan translation of The Brothers Karamazov. He died in Barcelona. Peter Bush is an award-winning translator who lives in Oxford. Among his recent translations are Josep Pla's The Gray Notebook, which won the 2014 Ramon Llull Prize for Literary Translation, and Ramon del Valle-Inclan's Tyrant Banderas (both for NYRB Classics); Emili Teixidor's Black Bread, Jorge Carrion's Bookshops, and Prudenci Beltrana's Josafat. Juan Goytisolo (1931-2017) was born in Barcelona and was the author of many novels, including Marks of Identity, Count Julian, Juan the Landless, and The Garden of Secrets, as well as two volumes of autobiography.