By one of the most important voices in contemporary world literature, a darkly comic novel about that most British of institutions, Oxford University.
In "All Souls," a visiting Spanish lecturer, viewing Oxford through a prismatic detachment, is alternately amused, puzzled, delighted, and disgusted by its vagaries of human vanity. A bit lonely, not always able to see his charming but very married mistress, he casts about for activity; he barely has to teach. Yet so much goes into simply "being" at Oxford: friendship, opinion-mongering, one-upmanship, finicky exchanges of favors, gossip, adultery, book-collecting, back-patting, backstabbing. Marias demonstrates a sweet tooth for eccentricity in this sly campus novel and love story.
About the Author
Javier Marias is an award-winning Spanish novelist. He is also a translator and columnist, as well as the current king of Redonda. He was born in Madrid in 1951 and published his first novel at the age of nineteen. He has held academic posts in Spain, the US (he was a visiting professor at Wellesley College) and Britain, as a lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University. He has been translated into 34 languages, and more than six million copies of his books have been sold worldwide. In 1997 he won the Nelly Sachs Award; the Comunidad de Madrid award in 1998; in 2000 the Grinzane Cavour Award, the Alberto Moravia Prize, and the Dublin IMPAC Award. He also won the Spanish National Translation Award in 1979 for his translation of Tristram Shandy in 1979. He was a professor at Oxford University and the Complutense of Madrid. He currently lives in Madrid.
John Banville was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. He is the author of thirteen novels, including THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE, which was shortlisted for the 1989 Booker Prize and KEPLER, which won the Guardian Prize for Fiction. His most recent novel, SHROUD, is out in paperback this year. He lives in Dublin.
"Javier Marías is in my opinion one of the best contemporary writers." --J.M. Coetzee
"Dazzling.... Javier Marías writes with elegance, with wit and with masterful suspense." --The Times Literary Supplement
“Javier Marías is such an elegant, witty and persuasive writer that it is tempting simply to quote him at length.” — The Scotsman
"Stylish, cerebral.... Marías is a startling talent...His prose is ambitious, ironic, philosophical, and ultimately compassionate." --The New York Times