Another True Story About Love and Life Worth the Read
Another True Story About One Family’s Life of Hardship and Love Over Generations
This novel, Open Heart, is another true story centering around the rise and fall of a great love. Written by Elvira Lindo, it is a work of autofiction that shifts from generational portrait of a country to moving observations of the most intimate and painful thing of all: family.
Seeing how historic events in a country affect different individuals, all in the same family and watching how they each cope with them and effect the family. Tragedy and love affects all of us depending on our personal experiences and our ability to overcome them. Open Heart is a brilliant novel that can and probably does relate to all of us.
This novel takes the reader on a sweeping journey through Spain while, at the same time, reveals insights about love in its many forms. OPEN Heart (Other Press Trade Paperback Original; is now on sale) by award-winning and enormously successful Spanish author, scriptwriter, screenwriter, and playwright, Elvira Lindo, is an intimate family novel and moving tribute to the generation that struggled to survive in Spain after the Civil War. Lindo, who has been awarded the National Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature, received the Biblioteca Breve Prize her novel Una voz tuya, also adapted into a film with great success by Ángeles González-Sinde, as well as the International Journalism Award and the Atlántida Award of the Catalan Publishers Guild, intended to turn the life of her parents into a novel in OPEN HEART. She didn’t want to write memoirs, and cleverly experiments with narrative order. Although she is the narrator, she avoids telling her family’s life as a succession of memories but instead tries to be immersed in the present that they lived. It is her voice as a child, as a teenager, as a young person, as an adult, that she employs and weaves through a polyphony of voices that constitute her inner family life. Her parents belonged to the generation of “niños de la Guerra” (the children of the War); they lived through the harsh post-war years and then the time of Spanish development. In OPEN HEART, Elvira Lindo tells the story of her parents, which is ultimately the story of an excessive love, a passionate and unstable love story forged through constant anger and reconciliation, with an entire family’s mood dependent on it.
Here, she relays the combined tragic and comic side of her family’s existence. Her father’s outsized personality, his caprices, his decisions mark the rhythms of a life characterized by drifting: after the wedding, Manuel’s job in the Dredging and Construction Company obliges him to change cities time after time, preventing him, his wife, and their children from settling down roots. Places pass by while their love disintegrates and their children grow up in a family history marked by her father’s character and the tragic illness of her mother.
A dazzling family saga, brimming with poetry and passion, OPEN HEART skillfully weaves together the private lives of individuals and major historical events in South America and Europe. It has been compared with the books that Natalia Ginzburg dedicated to her family, such as Family Lexicon and Delphine de Vigan’s Nothing Holds Back the Night. It also sings with notes of The Best Intentions, a novel that Bergman penned around his parents. Working within the family novel framework, Lindo executes what she does best, the creation of characters.
About the author:
Elvira Lindo was born in Cádiz, Spain. Before becoming a fiction writer, she was a presenter, actress, and scriptwriter for television and radio. Lindo received the Atlántida Prize from the Editors Union of Catalonia and the Biblioteca Breve Prize for her novel Una palabra tuya. In addition to numerous other successful books, including the international bestselling Manolito Gafotas series, Lindo is a frequent contributor to the Spanish daily newspaper El País.
About the translator:
Adrian Nathan West is a writer and literary critic based in Spain. He has translated more than twenty books, among them Rainald Goetz’s Insane and Sibylle Lacan’s A Father: Puzzle.