by Manuel Rivas
Translated from the Galician by Jonathan Dunne
Published by Harvill Secker
Fins and Brinco are best friends, and they both adore the wild and beautiful Leda. The three young friends spend their days exploring the dunes and picking through the treasures that the sea washes on to the shores of Galicia. One day, as they are playing in the abandoned school on the edge of the village, they come across treasure of another kind: a huge cache of whisky hidden under a sheet. But before they can exploit their discovery a shot rings out, and a man wearing an impeccable white suit and panama hat enters the room. That day they learn the most important lesson of all, that the mouth is for keeping quiet.
Manuel Rivas was born in Coruña in 1957. He writes in the Galician language of north-west Spain. He is well known in Spain for his journalism, as well as for his prize-winning short stories and novels, which include the internationally acclaimed The Carpenter’s Pencil and Books Burn Badly. His works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Jonathan Dunne was educated at Oxford University and holds advanced diplomas in Spanish, Galician, and Bulgarian. His many translations include: from the Spanish, two novels by Enrique Vila-Matas, Bartleby & Co and Montano’s Malady, nominated for the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize; from the Galician, In the Wilderness, nominated for the 2004 Weidenfeld Translation Prize, and The Carpenter’s Pencil, nominated for the 2003 International IMPAC Award, both by Manuel Rivas; from the Catalan, In the Last Blue by Carme Riera; and from the Bulgarian Iana Boukova’s poems in Take Five 07. He is the author of The DNA of the English Language (2007) and a collection of poetry entitled Even Though That (2004). He lives in Sofia, Bulgaria.