Nominated by:

Biblioteca Demonstrativa Maria da Conceição Moreira Salles, Brasilia, Brazil

Publisher of nominated edition:

Farrar, Straus & Giroux, USA

Talking to Ourselves

Andrés Neuman      

Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garcia

2016 Longlist

One trip. Two love stories. Three voices.

Lito is ten years old and is almost sure he can change the weather when he concentrates very hard. His father, Mario, anxious to create a memory that will last for his son’s lifetime, takes him on a road trip in a truck called Pedro. But Lito doesn’t know that this might be their last trip: Mario is gravely ill. Together, father and son embark on a journey which takes them through strange geographies that seem to meld the different parts of the Spanish-speaking world. In the meantime, Lito’s mother, Elena, restlessly seeks support in books, and soon undertakes an adventure of her own that will challenge her moral limits. Each narrative–of father, son, and mother–embodies one of the different ways that we talk to ourselves: through speech, through thought, and through writing. While neither of them dares to tell the complete truth to the other two, their individual voices nonetheless form a poignant conversation.

Sooner or later, we all face loss. Andrés Neuman movingly narrates the ways the lives of those who survive loss are transformed. Talking to Ourselves presents a tender yet unsentimental portrait of the workings of love and family.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Andrés Neuman was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and grew up in Spain. He was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists and was elected to the Bogotá39 list. Traveler of the Century (FSG, 2012) was the winner of the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize, Spain’s two most prestigious literary awards, as well as of a special commendation from the jury of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Neuman has taught Latin American literature at the University of Granada.

Librarian’s Comments

The core theme of this story highlights the loneliness of the characters in their inability to deal with real dialogue. And the author’s success is to accomplish this task with remarkable subtle writing of literary quality. His previous novel, Traveller of the Century, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

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