Pearls series

Through its mesmerizing structure, it asks bold questions about the nature of storytelling, and contrasts the ways in which the novelist and the fine artist construct narratives.

—Tobias Carroll, Signature Reads

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.”

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Paperback (published November 10, 2015)

ISBN
9780811222754
Price US
10.95
Price CN
12.95
Trim Size
4 x 7
Page Count
80

Enrique Vila-Matas

Spanish writer

Through its mesmerizing structure, it asks bold questions about the nature of storytelling, and contrasts the ways in which the novelist and the fine artist construct narratives.

—Tobias Carroll, Signature Reads

The literary tradition of Spain feels most ingenious when playfully blurring genres, and the Catalan novelist Enrique Vila-Matas may well be the current master of that.

—Yasmine El Rashidi, Artforum

I don’t know Vila-Matas personally, nor am I planning to meet him. I prefer to read him and let his literature pervade me.

—Pedro Almodóvar

Enrique Vila-Matas is playful and funny and among the best Spanish novelists.

—Colm Tóibín

An elegant and ironic writer.

—Rachel Nolan, The New York Times Book Review