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Plants Don't Drink Coffee

Plants Don't Drink Coffee

Paperback

By (author) Unai Elorriaga, Translated by Amaia Gabantxo

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  • Publisher: ARCHIPELAGO BOOKS
  • Format: Paperback | 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 175mm x 18mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0977857689
  • ISBN 13: 9780977857685
  • Sales rank: 1,676,665

Product description

"I read Unai Elorriaga's latest novel almost without stopping to breathe. Breathlessly, yes, but not quickly, because Elorriaga's books are not the kind you read in two or three hours and put back on the shelf. It is a very good novel. Incredibly good."--Gorka Bereziartua"Plants Don't Drink Coffee" achieves a graceful balance between playfulness (in both language and character) and depth of emotion and thought. Unai Elorriaga gives voice to unassuming characters, to "small" people with "small" lives; he magnifies things that often go unnoticed. Four stories narrated from different perspectives crisscross throughout the novel. In the first-person, the young Tomas--who wants above all else to be intelligent--tells us why it is so important for him to catch a blue dragonfly and introduces his extended (and eccentric) family to us one by one. We observe the surrealist creation of a rugby field on a golf course, unravel the mystery of why a couple of forty years never married, and delve into the intrigue surrounding a European carpentry competition that Tomas' grandfather had taken part in. "Vredaman "is teaming with dreamers, free spirits, and nonconformists who follow their inner voices. Beneath the novel's lighthearted and balletic ways lies a gentle wisdom, a lucid vision of human emotion.Unai Elorriaga's first novel, "A Streetcar to SP," won Spain's prestigious National Narrative Prize in 2002. The jury was taken by the freshness of his voice and by how utterly unique the book was. Elorriaga is the most celebrated young Basque author in the Spanish literary landscape. Although influenced by Julio Cortazar and Juan Rulfo, Elorriaga stands alone in both the inventiveness of his narrative and in the particular way his characters reveal their humanity. Elorriaga is truly breaking new ground.Amaia Gabantxo is a literary translator, writer, and reviewer. Her work has appeared in many journals and newspapers, including "The""Times Literary Supplement" and "The Independent," as well as in "An Anthology of Basque Short Stories" and "Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion" (Whereabouts Press). Her translation of Anjel Lertxundi's "Perfect Happiness" is forthcoming.

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Author information

Unai Elorriaga (1973 - ) won the prestigious Spanish Premio Nacional de Narrativa in 2002 for his first novel, SP rako tranbia (A tram to SP). He is also the author of the novel Van't Hoffen ilea (Van't Hoff's Hair) and numerous anthologized short stories. He currently works as a translator and professor at the Instituto Labairu de Bilbao. Gabantxo is a literary translator, writer and reviewer. Her work appears in many journals and newspapers, including the Times Literary Supplement and The Independent, as well as in An Anthology of Basque Short Stories (University of Nevada) and Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press). Her translation of Lertxundi's Perfect Happiness is forthcoming from University of Nevada Press.

Review quote

"Short sentences, measured words, dialogues pregnant with silences, letters...all can be found in this lively narrative. It is the characters, the stories, and above all, the transparency and gracefulness of the child's outlook that add freshness and strength to Elorriaga's latest book." --"Berria" "In these stories there is a psychological process, a learning curve, a painful jump toward crucial knowledge. In Vredaman that jump takes place toward the end, which helps the story glide along joyously, aided by the novel's two main strengths: the innocent but brilliant, and almost shrewd language of the child narrator and the abundance of secondary stories." --"El Pais" "Vredaman must be understood from a double perspective: as an approach to reality from a non-realist position and also as the practice of pure creativity...Thus while Elorriaga seeks to explain reality outside conventional lines, he doesn't avoid it. The events that take place in the novel are more than uncontrolled inventions: they aim to give the world meaning, and are sometimes imbued with naivety...In other words, Elorriaga does whatever he wants, without concern for convention." --"El Mundo" "I read Unai Elorriaga's latest novel almost without stopping to breathe. Breathlessly, yes, but not quickly, because Elorriaga's books are not the kind you read in two or three hours and put back on the shelf. It is a very good novel. Incredibly good." --"Gorka Bereziartua, Eremulak.com" "Unai Elorriaga does away with the boundaries and coordinates of conventional literature and takes them elsewhere: to the surprising literary territory of a writer with no hang-ups." --"Harkaitz Cano"