Winner of the Basque Country’s Fiction Prize, Martutene is a unique novel destined to become an essential reference of Contemporary World Literature.
Abaitua and Pilar, a gynecologist and a neurosurgeon, and Martin and Julia, a writer and a translator, are two couples worn down by years of marriage who have slid off into a kind of bored decadence. Their group of friends and family complete an insightful portrait of post-independence movement Basque life in which the arrival of Lynn, a refreshing young American sociologist, will trigger unexpected events.
Martutene is a truly outstanding work of fiction in which life and art weave and tangle. An exploration of those thoughts and feelings that expose our miseries and our deepest fears as human beings.
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"Martutene is an intelectual novel, a meticulous work, and an object lesson in how different aesthetic and historical strands can memorably converge."—Electric Literature
"One can read this book to gain insight into Basque literature and culture. One can read it in contrast to the scale of Tolstoy or the style of Flaubert. One can read it in contrast to modernism or postmodernism. But ultimately, this book should be read for the deep impression it will leave on its reader."—Jacob Singer, Quarterly Conversation
"A disruptive romance illuminates complexities of ethnic and political identity in Saizarbitoria’s substantial novel set in the Basque region in Spain. . . . a probing and sophisticated work that is already being celebrated as a modern classic." —Booklist, starred review
“A sprawling novel of post-independence movement Basque life and its discontents . . . rich in perception.” —Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2016
“Martutene is probably the most important Basque novel yet to be written; this is a primus inter pares book destined to become the central piece of the new canon." —Joseba Gabilondo (Michigan State University)
“Martutene could well be considered the highest summit of Basque-language novels . . . This superb novel recalls the greatness of Tolstoy and the obsessive stylistic accuracy of Flaubert . . . It is a novel that rightfully deserves being included among the greatest novels of the twenty-first century.” —Angel Basanta, El Cultural
“A landmark Basque novel. Nothing compares to it.” —Jon Kortazar, Ínsula.
“Perhaps one of the best novels, if not the best, ever written in Basque language.”—Suma Cultural
“Saizarbitoria is one of the greatest Basque-language writers . . . A veteran of Basque literature that has also been the first to write a modern novel.” —Benito Garrido, Culturamas
“I would dare say that nobody in our literature has shown such mastery in the creation of fiction characters.”—Hasier Etxeberria, Zuzeu.com.
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