The Things We’ve Seen – Agustin Fernandez Mallo
THE THINGS WE’VE SEEN, a novel in three parts, is Agustin Fernandez Mallo’s most ambitious and accomplished novel to date. A writer travels to the small, uninhabited island of San Simon, used as a Franquist concentration camp during the Spanish Civil War. There, he witnesses events which impel him on a journey across several continents, chasing the phantoms of nameless people devastated by violence.
In the second part we meet Kurt Montana, the fourth astronaut who secretly accompanied Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their mythical first voyage to the moon. Now living in Miami, an ageing Kurt revisits the important chapters of his life, from serving in the Vietnam War to his memory of seeing earth from space. In the final section, a woman embarks on a walking tour of the Normandy coast with the goal of re-enacting, step by step, the memory of another trip taken years before.
On her journey along the rugged coastline, she comes across thousands of refugees newly arrived on Europe’s shores. Described as the novel David Lynch and W. G. Sebald might have written had they joined forces to explore the B-side of reality, THE THINGS WE’VE SEEN is a remarkable novel for our disjointed times.
‘THE THINGS WE’VE SEEN confirms Fernandez Mallo as one of the best writers in Spanish, with an absolutely unique style and fictional world.’ – Jorge Carrion, New York Times in Spanish
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