The Lives I Did Not Live

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The Lives I Did Not Live


CANDAYA, 2023. Fiction, Spanish

A story of gardens, migration, exodus and women in search of a place of their own. In Spain and Iran.
The lives I did not live is a book that oscillates between the intimate and the public in a conversational, everyday, fragmentary and delicate language.

Book eligible for translation grants from the Balearic Islands

Anna and Pari are two women who meet in Menorca, around an abandoned and occupied hotel and an orchard rescued from oblivion. Anna, a native of the island, now returns in the midst of an intimate crisis after many years away. Pari arrived from Iran after abandoning his former life, and awaits the possible arrival of a visitor.
The Lives I Did not Live is a novel about destinies and spaces in reconstruction; about gardens and orchards; about bodies that inhabit and bodies that can no longer be inhabited. And it is also the story of an island and a country encountered in exodus and migration: throughout the conversation between the two protagonists, historical accounts of Menorca and Iran emerge: shipwrecks, invasions, fires, journeys, objects lost and rediscovered.
The memory of two families, and their future, are the starting points of this novel by Patricia Almarcegui, author of the celebrated travel book Cuadernos perdidos de Japón, in which gender inequalities, the problem of housing, migrations and the right to forget certain episodes of our lives, run through the encounters and stories shared by Anna and Pari, as they await the eviction from the old hotel in Torrepetxina.
Patricia Almarcegui is a writer with a renowned career who, in this, her third novel, takes a look at the territories that are closest to her: Menorca, where she has lived for a long time, and Iran, a complex country that she has already tackled in her works of travel literature. Thus, with a fictional story, but based on some thirty interviews with women from different generations, the author offers us an intimate, personal novel that demonstrates that autobiographical stories are made up of the stories of many lives.
The presence of natural spaces, orchards, gardens, the landscape of Menorca and Iran, the beaches of the Mediterranean and the Caspian Sea, make this book a text in the line of Nature Literature, an approach to history based on the encounter and relationships of the characters and their lives with the spaces that surround them. Moreover, the garden and the orchard are symbols of recovery, of calm and slowness, of patience and the will to resist against the aggressive advance of tourist spaces.

“Patricia Almarcegui is one of the most sensitive and beautiful voices in our country. Her books, imbued with a rapturous melancholy, have a very high literary quality”. Jacinto Antón, El País

Original Title
Las vidas que no viví

Territory of representation
World wide

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