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Distributed for Swan Isle Press

Someone Speaks Your Name

A lyrical novel following an idealistic student who explores the power of literature in Franco’s Spain.
It’s the summer of 1963 and León Egea, a cocky nineteen-year-old student and aspiring author, has just finished his first year studying literature at the University of Granada and is starting a summer job as an encyclopedia salesman. León, infuriated by the injustices in Spanish society under the Franco dictatorship, comes to find that literature can speak the truth when the reality is clouded. 
In this coming-of-age novel by renowned Spanish writer Luis García Montero, León discovers that, under the repressive Franco dictatorship, people, places, and events are not always what they seem. But literature, words, and names open paths to discovery, both personal and political. Through lyrical fast-paced narrative, Someone Speaks Your Name explores literature as a foundation for understanding human relationships, national character, discrete differences between right and wrong, and for pursuing the path forward. As León’s professor tells him: “Learning to write is learning to see.”

192 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2022


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“‘It’s hard to endure evil in the world. But it’s equally hard to endure innocence.’ A would-be writer finds himself spending the hot, dry summer of 1963 in Granada, where he works as an encyclopedia salesman and unexpectedly undergoes a passionate sexual initiation with a woman seventeen years older than he is. Their story plays out under the shadow of Franco’s dictatorship and amid unspoken memories of the Spanish Civil War, as literature and romance lead the young man into an startling new role. García Montero is among Spain’s most beloved and admired writers. This potent, rueful tale of coming of age—beautifully transformed into English in Katie King’s skilled, appreciative, and committed translation —is the first of his many works to appear in English.”

Esther Allen, translator of Antonio Di Benedetto’s Zama

“A furtive individual traverses these pages. . . . We don’t know who he is, but each time we read the book, when we open it randomly or search among its pages for favorite lines, we encounter him, a blurred but undeniable presence. He crosses paths with us, readers and visitors to this book. He is like someone who walks by on the street and is captured in the photos of others, an eternal stranger who ends up becoming familiar. He survives by calibrating each day, as if administering medicine, the right dose of tenderness and sarcasm, and if he conjures up temerity, he calculates, at the same time, its return.”

Antonio Muñoz Molina, author of Sepharad, translated by Edith Grossman

“The calendar in the neighborhood café is frozen at April 19, 1960, but León Egea, a restless college student, is not. Luis García Montero, Spain’s leading poet today, in Someone Speaks Your Name offers us a coming-of-age story in which León grows intellectually, erotically, and politically. At the same time Spain, in the clutches of a repressive dictatorship and still suffering the aftermath of a brutal civil war, is also coming of age in its struggle toward democracy.”

Anthony Geist, translator of Rafael Alberti’s Roma, peligro para caminantes

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