From one of Spain's greatest writers, a witty, moving novel about art, life, death and James Joyce.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE INDEPENDENT FOREIGN FICTION PRIZE
'A writer who has no equal in the contemporary landscape of the Spanish novel.' Roberto Bolaño
Samuel Riba is about to turn 60. A successful publisher in Barcelona, he is increasingly prone to attacks of anxiety and, looking for distraction, he concocts a spur-of-the-moment trip to Dublin, a city he has never visited but once dreamed about.
He sets off for Dublin on the pretext of honouring James Joyce’s Ulysses on Bloomsday. But as he and his friends gather in the cemetery to give their orations, a mysterious figure in a mackintosh resembling Joyce’s protégé Samuel Beckett hovers in the background. Is it Beckett, or is it the writer of genius that Riba has spent his whole career trying, and failing, to find?
“One of the most pleasurable and joyous novels of the year”
John Self, Independent
“A brilliant, funny novel; an expertly woven tapestry of literary allusions… Enrique Vila-Matas has created a masterpiece”
Jacqueline McCarrick, Times Literary Supplement
“Hugely entertaining…Vila-Matas enjoyed himself writing Dublinesque, that is obvious, and the reader will also enjoy – and collaborate in – this delightful literary exercise that is clever without being knowing, lightly erudite but never pretentious”
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
“Vila Matas’s novel is full of spectres, absences, near-misses… Like Becket, it is apocalypse without the drama… Dublinesque is a postmodern meditation on a high modernist text, full of cryptic crosses between fiction and reality”
Terry Eagleton, London Review of Books
“An extremely clever book, an obvious affection response to Joyce, to Ulysses , to all serious literature”
Kevin Breathnach, Totally Dublin
“An exquisite and original book in which literature does not make us think about life: it is life”
Le Magazine LittÃ©raire
“The masterpiece of one of Spain’s leading writers”
“A true literary treat”