is a shimmering, mercurial novel about life in Obaba, a remote, exotic Basque village. A schoolboy's mining engineer father tricks him into growing up, an unfortunate environmentalist rescues deceptively harmless lizards, and a rescue mission on a Swiss mountain climbing expedition in Nepal turns into murder. Obaba is peopled with innocents and intellectuals, shepherds and schoolchildren, whilst everyone from a lovelorn schoolmistress to a cultured but self-hating dwarf wanders across the page. Hints of darker undercurrents mingle with moments of wry humor in this dazzling collage of stories, town gossip, diary excerpts and literary theory, all held together by Atxaga's distinctive and tenderly ironic voice. An unforgettable work from an international literary giant, whom the Observer
(London) listed among the top twenty-one writers for the twenty-first century.