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Mr. Vila-Matas shows that the reasons for (and the consequences of) not writing fiction can, in a funny way, be almost as rich and complicated as fiction itself.

Economist

A quirky, cosmopolitan novel about life and literature by the prize-winning Spanish writer Enrique Vila-Matas, author of Bartleby & Co.


Montano’s Malady

Fiction by Enrique Vila-Matas

translated from the Portuguese by Jonathan Dunne

The narrator of Montano’s Malady is a writer named Jose who is so obsessed with literature that he finds it impossible to distinguish between real life and fictional reality. Part picaresque novel, part intimate diary, part memoir and philosophical musings, Enrique Vila-Matas has created a labyrinth in which writers as various as Cervantes, Sterne, Kafka, Musil, Bolaño, Coetzee, and Sebald cross endlessly surprising paths. Trying to piece together his life of loss and pain, Jose leads the reader on an unsettling journey from European cities such as Nantes, Barcelona, Lisbon, Prague and Budapest to the Azores and the Chilean port of Valparaiso. Exquisitely witty and erudite, it confirms the opinion of Bernardo Axtaga that Vila-Matas is "the most important living Spanish writer."

published May 1st, 2007