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The Winterlings

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Los hombres doblados sobre la tierra se enderezaron para observar. Las mujeres detuvieron sus escobas. Los niños dejaron de jugar: dos mujeres con grandes huesos cansados, como irritados de la vida, atravesaron la plaza del pueblo. " Dos mujeres seguidas de cuatro ovejas y una vaca de andar balanceado que tiraba de un carromato cargado de bártulos. Tension mounts when the sisters, once united by their passion for Hollywood cinema, compete for the chance to stand in for Ava Gardner in the nearby filming of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. Meanwhile, suspicion seeps in: Why have the women returned, and what are they hiding? What perverse business arrangement did the townspeople make with their grandfather, and why won’t they speak of his death?

The Winterlings reads like poetry and is filled with sly, sensuous charm and everyday magic . . . [it] blends Old World oral storytelling tradition, elements of magical realism, and hints of American gothic style and has been carefully translated from the original Spanish. Though the story is slow in unfolding, readers who appreciate beautiful prose will enjoy the novel's sleepy-town setting, colorful characters, and strange happenings." Every month I'm confronted by at least a few titles that catch me with my proverbial pants down. The Winterlings was one of these, somehow balancing the blunt and the sentimental, making you feel all the feels despite your best intentions, and captivating from beginning to end."

De «Las inviernas» una sale con la boca y la entraña dolorida, la cabeza brumosa y ligero temblor en las manos. ¡Qué hermoso libro, duro como un pan hecho con piedras! Una historia que se huele, se toca y se mastica. Esta novela me encandiló por el título antes de haber leído nada de la autora, pero tuve que esperar unos cuantos meses para conseguirla en préstamo. Si ya me gustó «El niño que comía lana», «Las inviernas» ha hecho profundizado en el imaginario que aquella comenzó a crear en mi cabeza sobre la Galicia de la posguerra. Las inviernas son dos hermanas que regresan a su pueblo a finales de los años cuarenta, tras haberlo abandonado a toda prisa, huyendo de la guerra y sus consecuencias. Vuelven Dolores y Saladina a la aldea con un carro y un montón de secretos a su aldea gallega, a sus montes, su vaca y sus ovejas, a hacer su requesón y su mermelada de higos. Pero los habitantes del pueblo guardan también secretos y rencores para con las inviernas. En esta novela hay leiras, lareiras, carreiros, corredoiras, mucho tojo, mucha vaca, mucho ambiente cerrado, mucho pacto de silencio.

In The Winterlings, we meet two sisters, named Saladina and Dolores who have returned to their childhood home. They lived with their grandfather in a small community in Galicia, named Tierra de Chá. Here, they find that ‘nothing and everything has changed: the people, the distant little house in the rain, the acrid smell of gorse, the flowers, the crops, the customs.’ Their return serves to disrupt the ‘placid existence of the villagers, stirring up memories best left alone.’ The Winterlings reads like poetry and is filled with sly, sensuous charm and everyday magic…. [it] blends Old World oral storytelling tradition, elements of magical realism, and hints of American gothic style and has been carefully translated from the original Spanish. Though the story is slow in unfolding, readers who appreciate beautiful prose will enjoy the novel’s sleepy-town setting, colorful characters, and strange happenings.“ Sánchez-Andrade's dark humor and simple language befit the magical-realist realm of this enigmatic tale about how the repercussions of human action, however ancient, can re-emerge at unpredictable times." I was at a small, local bookstore in Spain, when this book was highly offered to me upon my question for 'one local author to read to understand Spanish literary scene'. So let's say my expectation is quite a considerable amount.

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The Winterling can be a difficult play but contains rich veins of comedy. In addition, this trip to Dartmoor might initially seem to support the tradition of country life as red in tooth and claw. In this case though, the reddest teeth and claws have come from the Big Smoke. After the interval, Jez Butterworth begins to play with form and time. Similar situations are replayed with characters taking lines previously used by others, while absurdity is emphasised, particularly by a new entrant, Lue (Sally Hawkins). In an irritating, high-pitched drawl, she talks of her desire to fly away but never does so. In the darkness of their bedroom, in their little iron beds, the Winterlings let themselves speak of their secret. No voy a añadir nada más de esta historia de regusto rural y tópicos gallegos, que me ha deleitado con sus dos maravillosas protagonistas. "Las Inviernas" recoge tradición, personajes entrañables, vivencias surrealistas, pero también olores y sentimientos.

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