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Second Nature (La mirada de los peces)

Author:

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Original Language: Spanish | 224 pp. | September 2017

2 Seas Represents: Dutch and English rights (USA & Canada).

Rights sold: Turkey (Cumartesi Ktiapligi)

On the 3rd print run in Spain

LITERARY FICTION

It’s time to talk again about La mirada de los peces (Literatura Random House), by Sergio del Molino, which we will promote enthusiastically because it’s a jewel. Using What nobody cares about’s register, Sergio del Molino goes back to the non-fiction novel and chooses the character of Professor Antonio Aramayona, in favour of public education, laicism, and the right to a dignified death, to promote and encourage a reflection that touch with beauty, irony and clarity the ones who read it. — Voz Populi

A beautiful, demolishing, disturbing book. A praise for education and for the ability to observe and ask questions to oneself. And also, why not, a praise for forgetting about oneself, for hugging and rejecting. A story that comes just at the right time, when it seems like we have all been drugged and shows that, when there are 25 different versions of the same subject in one country, something’s not right. Even though this probably wasn’t del Molino’s objective -he’s the one know it- after finishing La mirada de los peces, the readers check their palate. They look for the hook, maybe to pull it out. — Voz Populi

The new Sergio del Molino’s book after Empty Spain deserves special attention. I am talking about La mirada de los peces (Literatura Random House), a book in which the author revives his interest in the collective perspective. Through Professor Antonio Marayona’s story- and his decision to commit suicide- del Molino praises education, freedom and memory and doesn’t miss an opportunity to show the nonsense and the softening of a country and a generation. A well-written, incisive book. — Zenda

In this book that Spain that got empty to come back together in the suburbs, in neighborhoods where some teachers tried to give their students the possibility to dream without leaving is skillfully depicted. — El País

The novel’s settings are del Molino’s recurring territories, not only for the autofiction nature of the text, but most of all for the exploration of the silences that define an existence. In La mirada de los peces, this silence rises in the blurred moment when two lives and their stories had to look back if they wished to rescue the crossroads where they fully coincide: how to make the memory faithful but also exact is the most exciting question of the book. — El Cultural

I’ve just realized it’s Sergio del Molino who wrote this novel, about whom Andrés Neuman said, as it can be read in the cover: “Sergio del Molino is an excellent writer, he seems to me one of the most brilliant writer of my generation. He conducts brutally honest enquiries, with a mix of harshness and tenderness which I believe to be really interesting.” I can only agree with him after reading this wonderful novel which is in line with the best fiction, since I love so much this way of fictionalizing reality. —Avilabacaicoa

Del Molino is always a step forward. This makes his novel’s virtue. When others see epic and justice, he also discerns stubbornness and loneliness. His heart on the limit when facing the dramatic occurrences arrives hardened by life and for the narration in the impressive The violet hour (about his son’s death, Pablo; Sergio, “orphan father”, is now fighting to get palliative care for children in their houses), but it doesn’t sweeten his flawless prose nor exaggerate its tone. — Alfa y Omega

In 2016, Sergio del Molino wasn’t surprised when his Philosophy teacher from secondary school, the activist Antonio Aramayona, told him he was going to commit suicide. La mirada de los peces begins as a book about this charismatic teacher, staunch defender of state education, secularism and the right to a dignified death. The narrative soon turns into a dialogue with the past and the memory of its author, who remembers an adolescence full of rage, noise and violence in the poor neighbourhood of Zaragoza, from which he always planned to escape.

In this dialogue “between the past and the present, written in a first person, into which many readers can insert their own voice”, Sergio del Molino explores the guilt that comes from abandoning those who teach us to look at the world, the first betrayals and disappointments in life and the the ever-grey areas between rebellion and complicity with the abject. He always returns to the figure of the teacher “coherent to the implausible” who activated the drive of a group of young people looking to understand their own nature.

Following the unprecedented success of La España vacía, Sergio del Molino returns with an intimate novel which looks at the past from the resigned lucidity of the present, addressing an entire country and a whole generation.