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About the book
  • Published: 14 July 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473511064
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

The Low Voices


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A beautiful, unforgettable coming-of-age novel from one of Spain's greatest storytellers

Manuel is growing up in Franco's Spain. He adores his elder sister, María, and they are watched over by their mother, who enjoys reciting poetry, and their father, a construction worker with vertigo. Beyond the walls of the house, he encounters chatty hairdressers and priests, wolf hunters and monstrous carnival effigies.

The community is still haunted by the civil war, yet Manuel's world is changing. Coca-Cola opens a factory nearby and news arrives of men landing on the moon. This is a story about family, memory and the experiences that make us who we are.

  • Pub date: 14 July 2016
  • ISBN: 9781473511064
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

About the Author

Manuel Rivas

Manuel Rivas was born in Coruña in 1957, and writes in the Galician language of north-west Spain. He is well known for his journalism, as well as for his prize-winning short stories and novels, which include the internationally acclaimed The Carpenter's Pencil and Books Burn Badly. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Also by Manuel Rivas

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Praise for The Low Voices

“Beautiful... It resonates with memory, love and palpable grief... Rivas is special – funny, benign, opinionated. He tells wonderful stories because he learned early in life how to listen, and he listened to the soft, wise voices around him. Rivas misses nothing, and it is fascinating to see how, in The Low Voices, he does not tell us how he became a writer but shows us the people, such as his quiet, unassuming, determined mother, who helped make him one”

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times, Books of the Year

“One of Spain's best-known novelists... Rivas's imagery sparkles like dew in the morning sun”

Michael Eaude, Literary Review

“Rivas has an appealing lyrical style, an offbeat humour and a translator well attuned to both.”

Times Literary Supplement

“The nature of this book means it can be enjoyed as a single straight story or as individual chapters. It’s one to leave by the bedside, to dip into every now and then, and enjoy over and over. Something, I think, I’ll be doing a lot.”

Jim Dempsey, Bookmunch

“An affecting, impressionistic novel-cum-memoir. Like all great autobiographical writing, it pulls the magic trick of making the specific and personal universally appealing.”

Juanita Coulson, Lady

“Rivas’ deepest, most confidential and intimate book to date.”

Heraldo de Aragón

“Rivas reveals himself as an authentic storyteller, transforming reality into imagination without ever betraying it.”

La Vanguardia

“It is wonderful, a luminescent account of lives lived… For those of a more political bent – and setting aside that the book has been funded by the EU taxpayers! – reading it now is an interesting backdrop to the Catalonian bid for independence, with its pride in community diversity and awareness that bad things in the Spanish past linger long in family memories. But for others, just read it, enjoy the pictures created and admire the outstanding writing.”

Hilary White, Nudge


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