The Blind Sunflowers

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The Blind Sunflowers by Alberto Mendez

Translated from Spanish by Nick Caistor

Published by Arcadia Books, May 2008


The Blind Sunflowers deals with the consequences of the Spanish Civil War and it gives a non-falsified

account of the Spain historical legacy written without prejudices.


The very day of the victory, a Captain of Franco’s army renounces winning the war; a young poet runs away with his pregnant girlfriend to grow up quickly and die within a few months; in Porlier’s jail, a prisoner refuses to live a lie so that the executioner can be designated as executioner; a lustful deacon hides his lust behind the apostolic fascism that clamours for the purifying blood of the defeated. These are stories from silent times. Times when it was scary that anyone knew that you knew. Four subtly connected stories. They are narrated with the same language but with the individual styles of the different narrators that shape the true main protagonist of this story: defeat.




Alberto Méndez was born in 1941 in Madrid. He studied in Roma and graduated in Literature and Philosophy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He always worked in national and international publishing companies. His book entitled Los Girasoles Ciegos was published in 2004. Alberto Méndez was awarded the Setenil Prize for the title (a prize to the best short-story book published in Spain), The Critic’s Prize, which for the first time was awarded to a posthumous book in 2005 (the author died in 2004), and the National Prize for Literature.


Nick Caistor has translated more than thirty books by Spanish and Latin American authors. As Latin American editor of the magazine Index on Censorship, he edited the English version of Argentina’s report on the thousands of disappeared, NUNCA MAS, and has translated and written about many human rights problems in Latin America. From Spain, he has translated novels by Juan Marse and Eduardo Mendoza which examine the effects of the Civil War; in 2007 he won the Valle-Inclan translation prize for his translation of The Sleeping Voice, a novel based on the experiences of Republican women prisoners in the Franco period.  


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