El cuento número trece (The Thirteenth Tale)

Overview

¿Dónde está la verdad?

Entre mentiras, recuerdos e imaginación se teje la vida de la señora Winter, una famosa novelista ya muy entrada en años que pide ayuda a Margaret, una mujer joven y amante de los libros, para contar por fin la historia de su misterioso pasado. "Cuénteme la verdad", pide Margaret, pero la verdad duele, y solo el día en que Vida Winter muera sabremos qué secretos encerraba El cuento número trece, una historia que nadie se había atrevido a escribir.

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Overview

¿Dónde está la verdad?

Entre mentiras, recuerdos e imaginación se teje la vida de la señora Winter, una famosa novelista ya muy entrada en años que pide ayuda a Margaret, una mujer joven y amante de los libros, para contar por fin la historia de su misterioso pasado. "Cuénteme la verdad", pide Margaret, pero la verdad duele, y solo el día en que Vida Winter muera sabremos qué secretos encerraba El cuento número trece, una historia que nadie se había atrevido a escribir.

Después de cinco años de intenso trabajo, Diane Setterfield ha logrado el aplauso de los lectores y el respeto de los críticos con una primera novela que pronto se convertirá en un clásico.

La carta de la editora

Aquí me tenéis, intentando condensar en pocas líneas mi entusiasmo por un libro que es especial en más de un sentido.

Dejad que os cuente algo de cómo empezó la aventura: una tarde de otoño de 2005 recibí la llamada de una colega inglesa recomendándome que leyera con cuidado una primera novela. "Habla de una mujer enamorada de los libros y creo que te gustará", me comentó. Me puse a hojear el manuscrito, luego a leer con más atención y finalmente devoré las últimas páginas ya en casa, de madrugada. A la mañana siguiente entré en el despacho dispuesta a convertirme en la editora de El cuento número trece y con ganas de saber quién era su autora, Diane Setterfield, una mujer inglesa que había salido de la nada para escribir una novela que me recordaba las mejores páginas de Jane Eyre y Cumbres borrascosas, pero además aportaba algo original, insólito, único.

Pronto supe que muchos otros editores en todo el mundo estaban entusiasmados con El cuento número trece y querían incluirlo en su catálogo. Resumiendo, en poco más de una semana la novela se convirtió en un fenómeno editorial, y aún sigue siéndolo: en Estados Unidos, al mes de su publicación, ya se han vendido 400.000 ejemplares y aparece en primer lugar de la lista de los libros más vendidos. De Inglaterra nos llegan reseñas estupendas y la editora holandesa está ya pensando en una segunda edición. ¿Qué tendrá ese libro que no tengan otros? Pues ni más ni menos que una trama de misterio donde todas las piezas cuentan, unos personajes que seducen al lector desde el primer momento y un tono de escritura espléndido, insólito en una primera novela. Bien es verdad que la obra es el fruto de cinco años de trabajo, que Diane Setterfield ha dedicado exclusivamente a la escritura, dejando de lado su trabajo de profesora universitaria.

¿De qué habla el libro? El cuento número trece cuenta la historia de Vida Winter, una vieja escritora acostumbrada a mentir, y de Margaret, una joven librera empeñada en saber la verdad y sacar a la luz los secretos de una familia marcada por el exceso y la extravagancia. Alrededor de Vida y Margaret bailan los fantasmas del pasado, los recuerdos de unas pasiones prohibidas, las cenizas de un incendio memorable y el perfil de un ser extraño que aparece y desaparece tras las cortinas de una mansión...

Prefiero no añadir más porque quisiera dejar en vuestras manos el placer de ir descubriendo estos secretos. Solo espero que disfrutéis del libro como lo hice yo: olvidándome de todo, incluso de mi oficio, y volviendo a ser una lectora enamorada.

Silvia Querini, editora

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
La primera elección de Barnes & Noble Recommends

La maravillosa primera novela de Diane Setterfield -una historia de legados fantasmagóricos en la tradición de Jane Eyre- es desde el vamos como el sueño de un amante de la lectura: la hija de un librero se encuentra una noche con una carta enviada por la autora más venerada de Inglaterra, una mujer cuya historia se confunde entre el rumor y la leyenda. En la extraña carta la famosa Vida Winter invita a Margaret Lea a descubrir la verdad acerca de su misterioso pasado.

Esa noche, incapaz de dormir, Margaret va a la librería de su padre por algo para leer. Pasando por alto sus favoritos -La mujer de blanco, Cumbres borrascosas, Jane Eyre--, no puede resistirse al más raro de los libros de Winter, Trece cuentos de cambio y desesperación, una edición retirada de circulación para corregir el título porque tenía sólo doce historias. Margaret, que nunca antes había leído a Vida Winter, sucumbe a su encanto y se lo termina. A los pocos días, llevada por el amor a los libros a un misterio real, se encuentra en la opulenta biblioteca de la residencia de Vida Winter en Yorkshire.

También los lectores se transportan con la atrapante prosa de Setterfield. Inhalan el polvo de la Librería de Antigüedades de los Lea, comparten el confortable sentido de aventura de Margaret en sus lecturas de trasnoche, y son seducidos por el glamoroso enigma de Vida Winter. Y sin embargo, El cuento número trece apenas ha comenzado.

Ante el encargo de Winter de escribir su verdadera biografía sin adornos, Margaret se ve atrapada en la trágica historia que debe revelar. Una historia más extraña e inquietante que la que ningún célebre escritor haya escrito jamás, en la que confluyen un caserón señorial, una bella pero fatídica familia, pasión, locura, fantasmas y un misterio que cautiva a los lectores hasta el final.

Rica en atmósferas y profundamente conmovedora la opera prima de Setterfield revive con gloria la tradición de la novela gótica y el suspenso romántico de los trabajos de Wilkie Collins, las hermanas Brontë y Daphne du Maurier. A la antigüa en el mejor de los sentidos, es una novela abrumadoramente leíble y realmente imposible de dejar a un lado.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788483468630
  • Publisher: Random House Mondadori
  • Publication date: 2/18/2009
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition

Meet the Author

Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield
Diane Setterfield became a major celebrity when the manuscript of her first novel, The Thirteenth Tale, inspired a vigorous bidding war among publishers in the U.S. and the U.K. The inaugural selection of the Barnes & Noble Recommends program, this fascinating tale of gothic intrigue heralded the arrival of an exciting new literary talent.

Biography

Diane Setterfield became a literary cause célèbre when the manuscript of her first novel, a haunting gothic mystery called The Thirteenth Tale, inspired a vigorous bidding war among publishers on both sides of the pond. A British academic with a specialty in French literature, Setterfield had taught in various colleges in England and France before quitting her job to pursue a writing career -- although, at the time, she didn't even know what she wanted to write about!

To ease her transition into the world of fiction, Setterfield steeped herself in the English classics she had enjoyed as a youth and enrolled in a writer's course on the finer points of getting published. There she caught the attention of novelist Jim Crace, who recognized her potential and took her under his wing. In a 2006 interview with The Guardian, Crace explained, "[Diane] had three things going for her. First, she was talented. Second, she was determined. Third, she had the right level of ego -- enough to make her ambitious but not so much as to stop her listening. When I heard her novel was getting very well received, I was not a bit surprised."

Five years in the making, The Thirteenth Tale tells the story of an elderly, reclusive novelist who reveals the secrets of her extraordinary life to a young, bookish biographer with secrets of her own. Written in the style of suspenseful romantic epics like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Rebecca, the novel is shot through with classic gothic elements -- ghosts, a governess, stolen babies, and windswept moors, just to mention a few.

Upon its publication in 2006, the novel soared to the top of the bestseller lists, boosted by the enthusiastic recommendations of book lovers everywhere. The Washington Post summed up the novel's appeal succinctly in the first sentence of its review: "If you are a Reader with a capital R, as is the narrator of Diane Setterfield's debut novel, the pages of The Thirteenth Tale will remind you of what you know and love: the world of books."

In 2006, The Thirteenth Tale became the inaugural selection of the Barnes & Noble Recommends program.

Good To Know

"Jobs I had before I began writing, in chronological order: Chambermaid, Shop Assistant (lightbulbs and batteries), Shop Assistant (newspapers and greetings cards), Bakery Assistant (I put the jam into doughnuts. I hate doughnuts.), Assistant in an old people's home, Library Assistant, English Language Tutor, Translator, French Language Tutor, University Lecturer, French Language Tutor again. Writing suits me better than any other job I have had."

"I have kept a reading diary since I was 18. I am jealous of my friend who has kept hers since she was ten."

"I love to read, obviously. Cooking and eating are joys (as I write this the sun is shining, and I am wondering whether the time is right to buy an ice-cream maker). I am always happy up a ladder with a paintbrush in my hand. And I wish I had more time to spend in the garden -- not least because I get good ideas for writing when I'm out there. I like spending time with my friends. (I did warn you. Writers are not special people. When they're not writing they do exactly the same as everyone else.)

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    1. Hometown:
      Yorkshire, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 22, 1964
    2. Place of Birth:
      Berkshire, England
    1. Education:
      Theale Green School, Berkshire (1975-1982); B.A., University of Bristol, 1986); Ph.D. in French, 1993
    2. Website:

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