Rolando VILLAZÓN

Malabares

Espasa, Abril 2013

Translations

(France, Jacqueline Chambon / Actes Sud); (Germany, Rowohlt)

Press

«Malabares has bewitched me with its elocuence, that reminds to the great Latinamerican writers such as Borges, García Márquez and Vargas Llosa.»
Daniel Barenboim

«It´s been a long time since I have read a novel that pays such a homage to the history of literature A perfect, infinite mirror game, as befits an admirer of Borges.»
I. Mangold, Die Zeit

«This is a serious and interesting debut. The reflexive considerations, together  with stories, aphorism, letters and small scenes, make the novel a light and yet profound puzzle.»
Salzburger Nachrichten

«This debut offering, a joyful explosion of juggling and farce, draws on personal experience and, peppered with humour, tells of the joy at being an artist and the pain of no longer being one. A metaphysical tale brimming with humanity and shot through with laughter.»
M.W. et M.-C.A., Notes Bibliographiques

«The prose in Malabares is dazzling, dreamlike and tinged with irony. A story that hovers between dreams and reality. […] Fascinating, ambitious and colourful, Rolando Villazón’s writing is rich in nods to philosophy, psychoanalysis and literature, without ever testing the reader’s patience.»
Emmanuelle Giuliani, La Croix

«Malabares. A world away from celebrities writing on a whim, this book is chock-full of references, taking in everything from Verlaine and Freud to cutting edge philosophy, its language scaling poetic, Oulipian heights.»
Victorine de Oliveira, La Vie

«This debut offering reveals an authentic, natural-born storyteller[…] Malabares,a title that is the perfect fit for a novel that toys with appearances, a coming-of-age tale, a tribute to the theatre, an homage to the acting profession and to friendship, in which, in defence of the world of dreams, Rolando urges us not to give up on our primal dreams.»
Jean-Rémi Barland, La Provence

«A wonderful tribute to all the acrobats and trapeze artists who make the world a more delightful place.»
Figaro Madame

«The style, word choices and quotations suit the characters to a tee. Rolando portrays them with a lightness and sureness of touch and yet still packs a punch. He evokes feelings with tact and delicacy, always imbued with a piercing insight into human psychology.»
Amalthée, Informateur

«A tenor and a novelist? Yes, you heard right. Rolando Villazón, outstanding performer of the leading roles in the operatic repertoire, now takes to the literary stage as you've never seen him before. For musicians who have written works on their craft or penned their memoirs are ten a penny, but tackling the fictional genre is a different matter entirely. (…) and Villazón shows himself to have a handle on what makes literature tick.»
César Coca, El Correo

«Rolando Villazón brings the same unbridled enthusiasm to his new career as an author as he did as a tenor.»
Xavier Cervantes, Ara

Synopsis

(Juggling Games) Macolieta earns his living by dressing up as a clown and performing at children’s parties and third-rate circuses with his two friends, Claudio the philosopher and the sardonic Max. After suffering a back injury and receiving a letter from Sandrine, the woman who introduced him to the world of the circus and whom he can’t forget, Macolieta rediscovers an old blue notebook in which, over the years, he’s been developing the story of his alter-ego, the famous circus artiste Balancín [See-saw], acclaimed the world over by an adoring public and devoted to his art.

In the pages of the notebook, Balancín is also going through a difficult period that forces him to retire from the stage but, unlike Macolieta, Balancín can always count on the support of his beloved wife Verlaine and their two children.

But is Balancín’s life really so perfect? Can Macolieta persuade Sandrine to take him back?

With a style that mixes both realistic and lyrical elements with touches of humour, the author entwines these two stories that, as a kaleidoscope, throw light upon each other.

«If the circus is a mirror of the world, clowns are our most trustworthy reflection. In Malabares, Rolando Villazón has known how to give voice —no pun intended— to these fragile creatures, discovering their abysses and hopes with great subtlety and intelligence. The fascinating first novel of a great artist.» Jorge Volpi

(Spain, Espasa-Calpe)