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Because She Never Asked

by Enrique Vila-Matas

cover image for

Pearls series

An elegant and ironic writer.

—Rachel Nolan, The New York Times Book Review

A novella–half jokes and half nightmare–by “Spain's most significant contemporary literary figure” (The New Yorker)


Because She Never Asked

Fiction by Enrique Vila-Matas

translated from the Spanish by Valerie Miles

Because She Never Asked is a story reminiscent of that reached by the travelers in Patricia Highsmith's Stranger on a Train. The author shall write a piece for the artist Sophie Calle to live out: a young, aspiring French artist travels to Lisbon and the Azores in pursuit of an older artist whose work she's in love with. The second part of the story tells what happens between the author and Calle. She eludes him; he becomes blocked and suffers physical collapse.

"Something strange happened along the way," Vila-Matas wrote. "Normally, writers try to pass off a work fiction as being real. But in Because She Never Asked, the opposite occurred: in order to give meaning to the story of my life, I found that I needed to present it as fiction."

published November 10th, 2015