Ainielle is a village high in the Spanish Pyrenees. Its houses are mostly deserted ruins and have been for years. Ainielle's last surviving inhabitant, an old man at death's door, lingers on, and as the "yellow rain" of leaves flutters around him and the first snows of the year fall, he recalls the life he lived and the ghosts-once his friends and neighbors-who have taken possession of his solitude.
Hailed on first publication and continuously reprinted in Spain, The Yellow Rain is a haunting ode to the power of memory, an elegy for a landscape and a way of life.
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Born in the now-vanished town of Vegémian in 1955, Julio Llamazares is one of Europe's most celebrated writers. He has written novels, poetry, and several travel books and is a regular contributor to El Pais. He lives in Madrid.
In this somber and elegiac novel, Llamazares's first to be translated into English, the last, dying resident of a deserted village in the Spanish Pyrenees, "forgotten by everyone, condemned to gnaw away at my memory and my bones like an old dog," summons the ghosts of his past. The closing of the local mill sent Ainielle's population to other towns, until only the elderly narrator and his wife, Sabine, remained. Lonely and grieving, Sabine killed herself, and the old man is left with only his loyal, sorrowful dog. Now, on what seems to be his final night on earth, he recalls the tragedies that have befallen him: his daughter, Sara, died when she was only four; the Spanish Civil War claimed his son Camilo; and his other beloved son, Andres (the narrator's namesake), "abandoned" his family to seek his fortune. The old man has never forgiven Andres, nor anyone else who left the village to rot, its houses collapsing "like an animal felled by a bullet." Llamazares's gorgeous prose evokes the empty streets and desolate landscape as effectively as it suggests ambiguities in the narrative's truth: is Andr‚s the elder a crazy, potentially dangerous man who sees visions of the dead? Or is he himself a ghost? A gorgeous, heartbreaking meditation on memory and solitude, and a poetic accounting of physical and spiritual decay, Llamazares's slender novel transports readers to a grim and unforgettable world.
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Book Description Harcourt, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110151005982
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