Nominated by:

Biblioteca Demonstrativa de Brasília

Fundacao Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil

Dublin City Public Libraries, Ireland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Harvill Secker, UK


Enrique Vila-Matas      

Translated from the original Spanish by Rosalind Harvey & Anne McLean

Longlist 2014

Samuel Riba is about to turn 60. A successful publisher in Barcelona, he is increasingly prone to attacks of anxiety and, looking for distraction, he concocts a spur-of-the-moment trip to Dublin, a city he has never visited but once dreamed about.
He sets off for Dublin on the pretext of honouring James Joyce’s Ulysses on Bloomsday. But as he and his friends gather in the cemetery to give their orations, a mysterious figure in a mackintosh resembling Joyce’s protégé Samuel Beckett hovers in the background. Is it Beckett, or is it the writer of genius that Riba has spent his whole career trying, and failing, to find?

From one of Spain’s greatest writers, a witty, moving novel about art, life, death and James Joyce.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Enrique Vila-Matas was born in Barcelona in 1948. His extraordinary literary oeuvre includes Bartlby & Co., Montano’s Malady  and Never Any End to Paris. He won the Premio Rómulo Gallegos 2001 and Dublinesque was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2013. His work has been translated into 30 languages.

Librarian’s Comments

A book layered in richness, Rachel Nolan has well said “it’s literature on literature”. And yet, it is a particularly moving story of someone deeply involved with literature having to deal with mortality amid other private demons. Superb reading.

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