PBS Summer Translation Choice 2021
Like a glazier reconstructing a mirror broken into a hundred shards, Eduardo Moga assembles a portrait of his father, thirty years after his death, from tiny sharp fragments of memory. This is no idealized patriarch but an ordinary man who has lived almost his whole life in the grey, grey hardscrabble years of the Franco dictatorship when it was ‘as if everybody’s feet smelt’. He is seen with a forensic clarity through now a child’s, now an adult’s eyes and across the gulf that education, relative prosperity and happier times inevitably create. He is sometimes absurd in his opinions and little vanities, sometimes off-putting in his personal habits, angry, lost, pitiable, but often kind and wanting to pass on his erratic wisdom. Most of all, and this is Moga’s great achievement, he is a real living person.
“Moga writes with lyrical depth about fathers who bequeath the best of themselves to their sons and sow only distance, and about sons who cannot forgive their fathers’ vulgarity and cannot forgive their own estrangement and lack of sympathy.” —José Ángel Cilleruelo, El Balcón de Enfrente
“In this splendid book Eduardo Moga dissects not just the story of a family but also the story of Spain.” —Francisco H. González, Devaneos