By Javier Marías, Margaret Jull Costa
A guy marries a lady and after the honeymoon she commits suicide. for this reason, he marries her sister and has a son. the unconventional, which received the Spanish Critics' Award, recounts the son's efforts to find the reality of that mysterious tragedy. by way of the writer of All Souls.
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My room was in darkness, no one had put on the light when night fell. Luisa was ill and asleep, I hadn’t moved from the balcony, I was watching the people of the city and then that woman, who was still stumbling towards me, still shouting words which, now, I could hear: “Hey! ” I was surprised when I understood what she was saying, but not so much because she was saying it to me as because of the way she said it, confidently, furiously, like someone ready to settle accounts with the person closest to them or the person they love, who is a source of endless irritation.
But the second feeling of unease only appeared in full force towards the end of the trip, that is, only in Havana, where, in a sense, I come from, or, to be more precise, where a quarter of me comes from, for it was there that my maternal grandmother (the mother of Teresa and Juana Aguilera) was born and from there that she came to Madrid as a little girl. It happened in the hotel where we were spending three nights (we didn’t have that much money and our stays in each city were only brief), one afternoon when Luisa was taken ill while we were out walking, indeed so ill that we interrupted our walk and came back to the room at once, so that she could lie down.
Before that, with an automatic gesture, the father had turned off the tap in the basin, the cold tap, which had been turned full on. His daughter must have been crying when she stood before the mirror, unbuttoned her blouse, took off her bra and felt for her heart with the gun, because, as she lay stretched out on the cold floor of the huge bathroom, her eyes were still full of tears, tears no one had noticed during lunch and that could not possibly have welled up once she’d fallen to the floor dead.
A heart so white by Javier Marías, Margaret Jull Costa