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On the Edge is a monumental fresco of a brutal contemporary Spain in free fall

On the Edge opens with the discovery of a rotting corpse in the marshes on the outskirts of Olba, Spain—a town wracked by despair after the burst of the economic bubble, and a microcosm of a world of defeat, debt, and corruption. Stuck in this town is Esteban—his small factory bankrupt, his investments stolen by a “friend,” and his unloved father, a mute invalid, entirely his personal burden. Much of the novel unfolds in Esteban’s raw and tormented monologues. But other voices resound from the wreckage—soloists stepping forth from the choir—and their words, sharp as knives, crowd their terse, hypnotic monologues of ruin, prostitution, and loss.

Chirbes alternates this choir of voices with a majestic third-person narration, injecting a profound and moving lyricism and offering the hope that a new vitality can emerge from the putrid swamps. On the Edge, even as it excoriates, pulsates with robust life, and its rhythmic, torrential style marks the novel as an indelible masterpiece.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780811222846
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 01/25/2016
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

The author of nine novels and the winner of the National Prize for Literature and the Critics Prize for On the Edge, Rafael Chirbes (born in Valencia in 1949) is “the best writer of the twenty-first century in Spain” (ABC).

Margaret Jull Costa, the three-time winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, has also won the International IMPAC Dublin Prize and the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize, among many others.

Valerie Miles, an editor, writer, translator, and professor, is the co-founding editor of the literary journal Granta in Spanish.

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