Eduardo Mendoza's "Rina de Gatos" [lit. "Cat Fight"], 2010 recipient of one of the world's richest literary prizes, the Spanish-language Premio Planeta, is now available to anglophone readers as "An Englishman in Madrid."
Cover art for 'An Englishman in Madrid'. Photo: AFP
As befits its title, it's London-based publisher MacLehose Press that has picked up Mendoza's €601,000-winning novel.
In it, bored English art historian Anthony Whitelands finds himself in 1930s Spain to value an aristocrat's apparently worthless collection.
But he soon becomes entangled in the business of dangerous nationalist leader Primero de Rivera, as the two men vie for the attentions of the Duke's beautiful daughter, and Spanish, British and Soviet authorities begin to close in around them.
That "Rina de Gatos" was published in its native language by awarding body Planeta added to the air of suspicion surrounding the prize, though Mendoza had been previously recognized in neighboring France for "The City of Marvels" and "A Light Comedy."