Saber perder

Anagrama, 2008


(Brazil, Rocco); (France, Flammarion); (Germany, Kiepenheuer); (Italy, Feltrinelli); (The Netherlands, Ambo/Anthos); (Portugal, PRH/Alfaguara); (UK, Portobello); (USA, Other Press)


  • National Critics Prize 2008
  • Chosen by the critics of El Cultural as the best work of fiction of 2008.
  • Among the 5 shortlisted books for the Prix Médicis étranger 2010
  • Dulce Chacón Award 2009


«A screenwriter and director in Spain, Trueba in this involving ensemble piece shows a cinematic flair for the way urban lives intersect – and collide. Against the isolation of the big city, the urge to connect with others binds a snaking, swerving tale.»
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

«David Trueba brings a cinematic pacing, a very visual sensibility and the feel of an ensemble movie to this, his third novel… Lush, intricate and rewarding one.»
The Herald

«Wonderful, the novel is a detailed, sincere and abrasive portrait. One of the literary rentrée events!»
Serge Bressan, Le Quotidien

«Learning to Lose is complex, powerful, surprising and most of all smart. David Trueba is the real thing.» Percival  Everett, author of I Am Not Sidney Poitier

«Pulsates with longing, lust and simmering rage. Vivid, real and raw... Simply masterful.»
Joe McGinniss, Jr., author of The Delivery Man

«A masterly polyphony.»
Augustin Trapenard, Le Magazine Littéraire

«The writer and director David Trueba has written an impressive polyphonic novel, masterfully guided. Saber Perder is a puzzle where the pieces fit beautifully. The reader is caught in a maelstrom of emotions, overcome by the darkness of serious situations and the humor of funny ones. In short, you’ll be hooked; it’s incredibly authentic and you’ll be dying to know what will happen in the end. Can you ask for something more from a novel?»
Bruno Corty, Le Figaro

«David Trueba has conceived an admirably woven story not to be  missed.»
Robert Solé, Le Monde

«An excellent novel.»
J.E. Ayala-Dip, El País

«A profound novel, charged with emotional intelligence.»
Andrés Sánchez Magro, La Razón

«Pure literature (…) precise construction, in admirable doses (…)An excellent novel (…) an exception to the greyness of our current literature. splendid gift.»
Ricardo Senabre, El Cultural

«The most ambitious and rounded of his novels (…) a superb novel.»
Daniel Gascón, Heraldo de Aragón


(Learning to Lose) A twenty year old footballer arrives from Buenos Aires to be the crack of a team in Madrid. A girl just turned sixteen wakes up to the world. An abandoned man with no job and no hope that is as drastic as it is surprising. An old man whose wife is in the death bed embarks on a secret and inadmissible flight. Guilt, purity, the search for happiness, love and, above all, survival form the spider’s web which binds the characters together. A daring, bitter-sweet tale, with a touch of comedy inhabited by characters that are both ordinary and unpredictable– They have no other choice but to learn to lose.

(Spain, Anagrama / Pocket, Compactos / Club, Bertelsmann)