A true story packed with fiction, from the admired Spanish writer, Javier Cercas
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL 2018
A TRUE STORY THAT IS PACKED WITH FICTION - FICTION CREATED BY ITS MAIN CHARACTER, ENRIC MARCO
But who is Enric Marco? A veteran of the Spanish Civil War, a fighter against fascism, an impassioned campaigner for justice, and a survivor of the Nazi death camps? Or, is he simply an old man with delusions of grandeur, a charlatan who fabricated his heroic war record, who was never a prisoner in the Third Reich and never opposed Franco; a charming, beguiling and compulsive liar who refashioned himself as a defender of liberty and who was unmasked in 2005 at the height of his influence and renown?
In this extraordinary novel - part narrative, part history, part essay, part biography, part autobiography - Javier Cercas unravels the enigma of the man and delves with passion and honesty into the most ambiguous aspects of what makes us human - our infinite capacity for self-deception, our need for conformity, our thirst for affection and our conflicting needs for fiction and for truth.
Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne
[The Impostor] vibrates with an insomniac energy . . . it has the hot, charged energy of sitting through a trial . . . The language is precise, distinctive and delicious. - New York Times
A fascinating, highly charged, scalpel-sharp dissection. - The Times
The Impostor is a humane, artistically responsible and civilised book, one that you finish feeling heartened that such a serious-minded writer as Cercas is at work. - Sunday Times
No Spanish writer has probed the unhealed wounds of the country's history with more subtlety and rigour than Mr Cercas - Economist
Besides being a piece of nifty journalistic detective work, Cercas' book is an insightful psychological study . . . Both convincing and compelling - Spectator
Javier Cercas is one of Europe's most serious and attractive writers . . . Cercas is not content with the easy story, in this case the unmasking of a false hero. He boldly searches for the hidden truths of his elusive subject and his times. - Literary Review
Masterly . . . Cercas probes this mysterious and extraordinary life with uncommon patience, uncommon skill and uncommon sympathy. - Scotsman
Truth and fiction blend in an outstanding novel about a Holocaust impostor - Sunday Times "Must Reads"
Javier Cercas was born in 1962. He is a novelist, short-story writer and columnist, whose books include Soldiers of Salamis (which sold more than a million copies worldwide, won six literary awards in Spain and was filmed by David Trueba), The Tenant and The Motive, The Speed of Light and The Anatomy of a Moment. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Barcelona.