The OF Blog: Cover copy for Ildefonso Falcones' La mano de Fátima

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cover copy for Ildefonso Falcones' La mano de Fátima

Just received Spanish author Ildefonso Falcones' second novel, La mano de Fátima, on Thursday. This book has received quite a bit of attention in Spain, where the initial print run for this historical novel set in the 16th century is 500,000 for Spain alone, an extremely large number for any work of fiction, much less one published outside the Anglo-American markets. I am planning a review of this novel sometime in the near future (the North American release, in Spanish, will be on August 18 and I believe the English translation will be about a year from now). But for the time being, here's the cover copy for the book (I'm going to bed shortly, so it might be a few hours before I edit this to provide the English translation):

En 1568, en los valles y montes de las Alpujarras, ha estallado el grito de la rebelión: hartos de injusticias, expolio y humillaciones, los moriscos se enfrentan a los cristianos e inician una desigual pugna que sólo podía terminar con su derrota y dispersión por todo el reino de Castilla.

Entre los sublevados se encuentra el joven Hernando. Hijo de una morisca y el sacerdote que la violó, es rechazado por los suyos, debido a su origen, y por los cristianos, por la cultura y costumbres de su familia.

Durante la insurrección conoce la brutalidad y crueldad de unos y otros, pero también encuentra el amor en la figura de la valerosa Fátima, la de los grandes ojos negros. A partir de la derrota, forzado a vivir in Córdoba y en medio de las dificultades de la existencia cotidiana, todas sus fuerzas se concentrarán en lograr que su cultura y religión, las de los vencidos, recuperen la dignidad y el papel que merecen. Para ello deberá correr riesgos y atreverse con audaces y muy peligrosas iniciativas...

Los lectores de La catedral del mar encontrarán en esta segunda novela de su autor las mismas claves que llevaron al éxito a la primera: la fidelidad histórica, que se entrevera con un apasionado relato de amor y odio, de ilusiones perdidas y esperanzas que dan sentido a la vida y la lanzan por los caminos de la aventura. De ese modo, su autor construye una trepidante novela que pretende reflejar la tragedia del pueblo morisco, ahora que se cumple el cuarto centenario de su expulsión de España, y que también relata una vida singular, la de un hombre fronterizo y enamorado que nunca se resignó a la derrota y luchó por la convivencia.


And now, in not-so-stunning Technicolor English:

In 1568, in the valleys and mountains of the Alpujarras, the cry of rebellion has exploded: fed up with injustices, plundering, and humilations, the Moors confront the Christians and initiate an unequal struggle which can only end with their defeat and dispersion from all of the Kingdom of Castille.

Among these rebels is the youth Hernando.   Son of a Moorish woman and the priest who raped her, he is rejected by his own people, due to his origins, and by the Christians, because of the culture and customs of his family.

During the insurrection he knows brutality and cruelty from everyone, but he also encounters love in the figure of the valiant Fatima, she of the great black eyes. After the defeat, forced to live in Cordoba and in the midst of the difficulties of daily existence, they will concentrate all their forces to ensure that their culture and religion, those of the vanquished, will recover the dignity and role that they merit...

The readers of The Cathedral of the Sea will encounter in this second novel by its author the same elements that brought success to the first: historical fidelity, with glimpses of an impassioned narrative of love and hate, of lost illusions and hopes which give sense to life and which throw it along the roads of adventure. From this mode, the author constructs a intrepid novel which tries to reflect the tragedy of the Moorish people, on the four hundredth anniversary of their expulsion from Spain, and also recount a singular life, that of a enamored and frontier man who never resigned himself to defeat and who fought for coexistence.

5 comments:

Gonzalo B said...

Here's an interview with Falcones from today's Babelia:

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/semana/mundo/literario/todos/creen/dioses/mayores/menores/elpepuculbab/20090613elpbabese_4/Tes

Larry said...

Thanks for that link, Gonzalo! If I have the time, I might do a rough translation of parts of it into English later this week for inclusion with a couple of other things I'm working on now.

Dark Wolf said...

I have the Romanian edition of the "Cathedral of the Sea" which was published at a real short time after its publication in Spanish. I hope this second will come as quickly as his first novel. Not as happened to Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "The Angel's Game" which I bought in English afterwards since the Romanian edition is nowhere in the horizon.
Thank you Larry for another author spotting :)

P.S. And congratulations on Lakers win ;)

Larry said...

Hopefully this one will be available soon for you as well, Mihai. And thanks for the congrats, as it was certainly a sweet series to watch! :D

Anonymous said...

do you know where I can find a bit of a bio on Falcones? He has no Wikipedia page, I don't read Spanish, and am wondering if is a native Spaniard, born in Spain.

 
Add to Technorati Favorites