LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 INTERNATIONAL BOOKER PRIZE Enrique Vila-Matas’s new novel is perhaps his greatest: ‘playful and funny and among the best Spanish novelists’ Colm ToibinSixty-something Mac is not writing a novel. He is writing a diary, which no one will ever read. His wife, Carmen, thinks he is wasting his time.
But Mac persists, diligently recording his daily walks through the neighbourhood during the hottest summer Barcelona has seen in over a century. But soon he notices that life is exhibiting strange literary overtones, and in the sweltering heat, he becomes ever more immersed in literature – a literature haunted by death but alive with the sheer pleasure of writing. Intricate, erudite and practically fizzing on the page, Mac and His Problem is a masterpiece of metafiction and a testament to the power and playfulness of great literature.
‘So deeply comical on the one hand, and so deeply poignant on the other, that you just have to give yourself up to it because you’re in the hands of a master’ Paul Auster'[Vila-Matas] chooses humour in a way that allows him to have big ideas while relentlessly making fun of them’ Sunday Telegraph