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  • MacLehose Press
  • Maclehose Press

Water over Stones

Bernardo Atxaga

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

A polyphonic novel following the fortunes and failures of the inhabitants of a small Basque mining town over the course of forty years

"A brilliantly inventive writer" A.S. BYATT

"The most important Basque writer of his generation" Times Literary Supplement

"Not just a Basque novelist but the Basque novelist" Guardian


Their lives run into each other, like water running over stones

As the Basque mining town of Ugarte moves from the hazy summer of the 1972 Olympics, through the mining strikes of the turbulent Eighties and into the modern day, her people navigate the silences, secrets, joys and tragedies of their lives.
From the story of a traumatised teenage boy at the town's bakery, to the tale of a group of comrades on an army base in the twilight of Franco's dictatorship, the interconnected narratives of Water Over Stones confront the changes time brings to Ugarte's close-knit community, as the lives of its inhabitants run into to each other like water running between stones.
This extraordinary novel of friendship, nature, love and the immensity of death shows Bernardo Atxaga's mastery of his craft, and his ability to create places and characters that are impossible to forget.

Translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead and Margaret Jull-Costa

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Praise for Water over Stones

  • A brilliantly inventive writer

  • Atxaga holds the attention by his sheer craft, by the complete control he exhibits - Independent

  • Not just a Basque novelist but the Basque novelist - Guardian

  • The most important Basque writer of his generation - Times Literary Supplement

  • A narrative steeped in poetry in which Atxaga has brilliantly combined reality and fiction

  • A dramatic story that captivates the reader from the first pages to its splendid ending - La Razon

  • The reader will discover once again the great poetic power of Atxaga, and his incredible ability to build entire and profound universes - El Correo

  • Atxaga knows how to entertain, move and give autobiography all the charm of fiction - La Vanguardia

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Bernardo Atxaga

Bernardo Atxaga was born in Gipuzkoa in Spain in 1951 and lives in the Basque Country, writing in Basque and Spanish. He is a prizewinning novelist and poet, whose books, including Obabakoak (1992), The Accordionist's Son (2007) and Nevada Days (2017), have won critical acclaim in Spain and abroad. In 2019 he was awarded the National Prize for Spanish Letters. His works have been translated into thirty-two languages.

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