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Extreme Jogging

Kevin Breathnach: The ‘Nocilla’ Project, 18 February 2021

The Nocilla Trilogy 
by Agustín Fernández Mallo, translated by Thomas Bunstead.
Farrar, Straus, 528 pp., $30, February 2019, 978 0 374 22278 9
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... It became ‘a success with readers before its embrace by critics’, according to its translator, Thomas Bunstead. Some attribute this popular response to its imaginative engagement with technology and mass culture. Others point to its formal adventurousness, or to the influence of a network of literary blogs (centred on Vicente Luis Mora’s Diario de ...

Renée kept a crocodile

Lucie Elven: ‘Portrait of an Unknown Lady’, 1 June 2023

Portrait of an Unknown Lady 
by María Gainza, translated by Thomas Bunstead.
Harvill Secker, 188 pp., £14.99, March 2022, 978 1 78730 324 9
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... At​ the start of María Gainza’s first novel, Optic Nerve, the narrator, an art critic who is also called María, shows a couple round a grand house in Buenos Aires. She is wearing a soaking wet dress and a pair of fluffy slippers. She tells us with some self-deprecation that her job is taking rich foreigners to see private art collections. On this occasion, she had been sheltering from the rain waiting for her clients when a car ‘came past hugging the kerb and drenched me and my pristine yellow dress ...

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