Publication Date: April 23, 2013
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By one of the most important voices in contemporary world literature, a darkly comic novel about that most British of institutions, Oxford University.
In All Souls, a visiting Spanish lecturer, viewing Oxford through a prismatic detachment, is alternately amused, puzzled, delighted, and disgusted by its vagaries of human vanity. A bit lonely, not always able to see his charming but very married mistress, he casts about for activity; he barely has to teach. Yet so much goes into simply "being" at Oxford: friendship, opinion-mongering, one-upmanship, finicky exchanges of favors, gossip, adultery, book-collecting, back-patting, backstabbing. Marías demonstrates a sweet tooth for eccentricity in this sly campus novel and love story.
Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practiced translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. He has held academic posts in Spain, the United States and in Britain, as Lecturer in Spanish Literature at Oxford University.
"Javier Marías is in my opinion one of the best contemporary writers." --J.M. Coetzee
"Dazzling.... Javier Marías writes with elegance, with wit and with masterful suspense." --The Times Literary Supplement
“Javier Marías is such an elegant, witty and persuasive writer that it is tempting simply to quote him at length.” — The Scotsman
"Stylish, cerebral.... Marías is a startling talent...His prose is ambitious, ironic, philosophical, and ultimately compassionate." --The New York Times