Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Nevada Days

A Novel
Bernardo Atxaga; Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Nine months as a writer in residence can prove unnerving for anyone. For Bernardo Atxaga, newly arrived with his wife and two daughters, research at the Center for Basque Studies in Reno, Nevada, is anything but straightforward. The neon lights and harsh, windswept desert appear full of ominous signs: A raccoon that watches the house at night, eyes glowing. A series of sexual assaults on campus by an unknown assailant. A spider scuttling endlessly in a glass jar kept by a colleague. And the kidnapping and murder of a young college girl in the house next door.

Nevada Days, told in a series of diary-like entries, mixes fragments of the Basque diaspora with a constellation of lively incidents in Reno and memories from Atxaga’s childhood. The routines of everyday life are the only way to resolve the deep wounds of history and relationships, however fleeting or enduring. Trapped in the deeply alien landscape of Nevada, Atxaga weaves together past and present to see the American West from a refreshing, if also ominous and unsettling, vantage.

Share Title

Publication Date
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
A seductive, unclassifiable blend of autobiography and fiction set in Reno from the preeminent Basque author

About the Author

Bernardo  Atxaga
Credit: Basso Cannarsa
Bernardo Atxaga is a prizewinning author whose books, including Seven Houses in France and The Accordionist’s Son, have won international critical acclaim. His works have been translated into thirty-two languages. He lives in the Basque Country.
More by author
Margaret Jull Costa is the award-winning translator of José Saramago, Javier Marías, Bernardo Atxaga, Eça de Queiroz, and Fernando Pessoa. She is the translator of The Accordionist’s Son, Nevada Days, Obabakoak, and Seven Houses in France by Bernardo Atxaga.
More by author


  • “A foreboding, atmospheric slow burn. . . . The real genius of this novel is Atxaga’s unique blending of autobiography and fiction, of a piece with Karl Knausgaard and Ben Lerner.”Booklist
  • “A rapt and thoroughly entertaining work of autobiographical fiction. . . . Nevada Days pulls many threads together to make a rich and captivating tapestry. Atxaga is a persistently sharp writer, crossing boundaries and bringing different worlds closer.”Shelf Awareness
  • “Told in short, bite-size bursts of prose, Nevada Days manages the difficult task of being a convincing thriller where the plot is unfolding one door away from the presumed protagonist.”World Literature Today
  • Nevada Days is a remarkable book, both for its breadth of ­­landscape and history and for its depth of feeling. Atxaga wanders across time and between continents, all the while still orbiting around the book’s central, haunting preoccupations of isolation and violence. Through Atxaga’s vision of the American West, we are given access to elusive, unromantic truths about our own country that only this gifted outsider’s eye can catch.”—Gabriel Urza, author of All That Followed
Back to Table of Contents