Private: Vicente VALERO

Los extraños

Periférica, 2014

Translations

Germany / Berenberg Verlag

Press

“Vicente Valero has written a great book, because he has successfully provided artistic direction to the absence of a complete or reliable history. Everything relies on chasing trails that have almost disappeared, but this is not a liability. On the contrary, the reason for his artistic success is found in this fundamental ellipsis.” José María Pozuelo Yvancos, ABC

“The Strangers has the austere beauty of the best elegies and the mark left by the inevitability of these readings.” J. Ernesto Ayala‐Dip, El País

“An excellent writer. He was right in naturally choosing essential data that rounds out his characters. It is precisely this way of telling the story which gives it the closeness of a chronic without hindering in the quality of the writing.” Ricardo Senabre, El Mundo

Synopsis

(The Strangers) A story of Africanist army members, Second Republic Commanders, professional chess players and dancers, against the backdrop of colonial Africa, Spanish Civil War, exile in France, Ibiza in the seventies.

Definitely one of the most important first Spanish novels in recent years.Whether unfortunate or happy, that is to say, similar or different –according to Tolstoy’s famous definition–, every family have their strange ones: those individuals whom only a handful of news about them are known yet often come up because some mysterious event that have happened to them, their odd jobs or the strength of their unique personality, which makes them distance themselves from the ordinary course of the family. Often elusive faces on the brink of being completely forgotten.
To rescue them from this last frontier and to satisfy an old curiosity –originated, purely and naively, from the disconnected stories heard during childhood– the narrator brings together four of his strangers in this extraordinary book to try to piece together, using a few inherited memories but also venturing into personal research (travels, ocuments, etc.), the trajectory of the lives of each one, their ambitions and failures, and to identify the main reason for their strangeness and, therefore, their estrangement.