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About the Author: Juan José Millás

Juan José Millás is a Spanish writer and winner of the 1990 Premio Nadal. He was born in Valencia and has spent most of his life in Madrid where he studied Philosophy and Literature at the Universidad Complutense.
His first novel was influenced by Julio Cortázar and consequently shows the influence of the then-prevalent literary experimentalism, as well as the uncertainty of a fledgling author. Although very original, his second book, Cerbero son las sombras (1975), obtained the Premio Sésamo and received a positive critical response.
Thanks to an enthusiastic member of the judges panel for the Premio Sésamo, Juan García Hortelano, he was able to publish Visión del ahogado (1977) and El jardín vacío (The empty garden) (1981) with the prestigious publisher Alfaguara. But his most popular novel was Papel mojado (1983), an assignment for a publisher of young adult literature that was a commercial success and continues to sell well. Simultaneously, he began to publish articles in the Spanish press with great success, so he left the employment of the Iberian press and now makes a living as a journalist and author.
In his numerous works, which are mostly psychological and introspective, any daily fact can become a fantastic event. He created his own personal literary genre, the articuento, in which an everyday story is transformed into a fantasy that allows the reader to see reality more critically. His weekly columns in El País have generated a great number of followers who appreciate the subtlety and originality of his point of view in dealing with current events, as well as his commitment to social justice and the quality of his writing. On the program La Ventana, on the channel Ser, he has a time slot (Fridays at 4:00) in which he encourages viewers to send short accounts about words from the dictionary. Currently, he is constructing a glossary, within which these accounts have a large role. His works have been translated into 23 languages, among them: English, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch. In his 2006 novel, titled Laura y Julio, we find his principal obsessions expressed: the problem of identity, symmetry, other inhabitable spaces within our space, love, fidelity, and jealousy.

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Goodreads rating: 4.40

Paperback, Published in Jan 2007 by Modern Language Association of America

ISBN10: 0873529383 | ISBN13: 9780873529389

Page count: 172

The stories of Juan José Millás, who began writing in the 1970s, depart from both the socially engaged, traditional realism and the linguistic experimentation of post-Francoist Spain. They are populated by strange characters: a man who discovers a passage that connects all the armoires on earth, a woman who finds her obsessions to be better company than her cats, a vacationer who prefers his pancreas to the Bahamas as a destination. Influenced by both Gabriel García Marquéz and Franz Kafka and resonant with Freudian concepts, Millás's fiction—ironic, humorous, dreamlike—raises questions about identity, society, and what is normal.

In her introduction, Pepa Anastasio places Millás in the context of modern Spain and provides commentary on the style and themes of a contemporary writer little of whose work has yet appeared in English translation.

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