Nominated by:

Biblioteca Vila De Gràcia - Biblioteques de Barcelona, Spain

Bibliothèques Municipales Genève, Switzerland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Harvill Secker, UK

New Directions Pubishing Company, USA

The Illogic of Kassel

Enrique Vila-Matas      

Translated from the original Spanish by Anne McLean & Anna Milsom

2017 Longlist

A puzzling phone call shatters a writer’s routine. An enigmatic female voice extends an invitation to take part in Documenta, the legendary contemporary art exhibition held every five years in Kassel, Germany. The writer’s mission will be to transform himself into a living art installation, by sitting down to write every morning in a Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of town.

Once in Kassel, the writer is surprised to find himself overcome by good cheer as he strolls through the city, spurred on by his spontaneous, quirky response to art. With humour, profundity and a sharp eye, Enrique Vila-Matas tells the story of a solitary man roaming the streets amid oddities and wonder.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Born in Barcelona in 1948, Enrique Vila-Matas is widely considered to be one of Spain’s most important contemporary novelists, and Dublinesque has been declared his masterpiece. His extraordinary oeuvre, translated into 30 languages, includes Bartleby & Co, Montano – longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize – and Never Any End to Paris – a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award.

Librarians’ Comments

A mental journey where humour alternating with depth charges over death and old age. A mature, rounded book which is both touching and bitter.

Interesting reflection on literature and modern art, between fiction and autobiography, with humour and erudition.

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