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The 2021 Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize is now open for submissions via Submittable through August 31, 2021.

The Accordionist's Son

A Novel
Bernardo Atxaga; Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
David Imaz has spent many years living in exile in California, far from his native Basque Country. Nearing fifty and in failing health, he begins to write the story of his youth, a sweeping narrative that spans 1936 to 1999. As a young man, David divides his time between his uncle's ranch and his life in the village, where he practices the accordion at his father's insistence--all in the shadow of the Spanish civil war. Letters found in a hotel attic, along with a silver pistol, lead David to unravel his family's involvement in both sides of the conflict.

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"The most accomplished novel to date by an internationally celebrated writer"—Bookforum, now available in paperback


About the Author

Bernardo  Atxaga
Credit: Javier Martin
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.
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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.
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  • “A fresh voice in Basque and Spanish literature…The Accordionist’s Son, first published in the Basque language in 2003, is [Atxaga’s] most accomplished novel.”—The Independent
  • “While recognizing that all stories ‘embellish life,’ [Atxaga] has created a rich and vibrant world that is sadly threatened with extinction.”—Magill Book Reviews
  • “Each character is a world, a story marvelously integrated into the whole… A master storyteller has become a fabulous chronicler of reality. . . The Accordionist’s Son charms and moves us.”—La Vanguardia
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