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New Directions
208 pages
Product Description
<p><strong>“He is by far the most exciting writer to come from South of the Rio Grande in a long time.” —Ilan Stavans, <em>Los Angeles Times</em></strong></p>Set in the seaside town of Z, on the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona, <em>The Skating Rink</em> oscillates between two poles: a camp ground and a ruined mansion, the Palacio Benvingut. The story, told by three male narrators, revolves around a beautiful figure skating champion, Nuria Martí. When she is suddenly dropped from the Olympic team, a pompous but besotted civil servant secretly builds a skating rink in the ruined Palacio Benvingut, using public funds. But Nuria has affairs, provokes jealousy, and the skating rink becomes a crime scene. A mysterious pair of women, an ex-opera singer and a taciturn girl often armed with a knife, turn up as well.<br /> <br /> A complex book, <em>The Skating Rink</em>’s short chapters are skillfully broken off with questions to maintain the narrative tension: <em>Who was murdered? Who was the murderer? Will the murderer be caught?</em> All of these questions are answered, and yet <em>The Skating Rink</em> is not fundamentally a crime novel, or not exclusively; it’s also about political corruption, sex, the experience of immigration, and frustrated passion. And it’s an atmospheric chronicle of one summer season in a seaside town, with its vacationers, its drifters, its businessmen, bureaucrats and social workers.