From one of Spains most celebrated contemporary writers, Learning to Lose is a lucid and gripping view into the complexities of lives overturned and into the capriciousness of modern life, with its intoxicating highs and devastating lows.
It is Sylvias sixteenth birthday, and her life as an adult is about to beginnot with the party she had been planning, but with a car accident and a broken leg. Behind the wheel is a talented young soccer player, just arrived from Buenos Aires and set for stardom on and off the field. As their destinies collide and a young romance is set in motion, across town, Sylvias father and grandfather are finding their own lives suddenly derailed by a violent murder and a secret affair with a prostitute.
Set against the maze of Madrids congested and contested streets, Learning to Lose follows these four individuals as they swerve off course in unexpected directions. Each of them is dodging guilt and the fear of failure, but their shared search for happiness, love, purity, redemption, and, above all, a way to survive, forms a taut narrative web that binds the characters together.
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"An elegantly written, well-thought-through coming-of-age novel, with the requisite furtive embraces, broken hearts and missed signals." - Kirkus Reviews
"One part Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia, one part Paul Haggis' Crash, the rest is all David Trueba, modern day Madrid, and a narrative that pulsates with longing, lust and simmering rage. Don't dare pick it up if you have plans for the weekend, or for the rest of the day for that matter. It's that good. I was casting the adaptation in my mind as I tore through it. Vivid, real and raw, the novel is at once unsparing and entirely humane. Simply masterful." - Joe McGinniss, Jr., author of The Delivery Man
"Learning to Lose is complex, powerful, surprising and most of all smart. David Trueba is the real thing. I had a lot of work on my desk and it is still on my desk. I have however read Mr. Trueba's novel. Enough said." - Percival Everett, author of I Am Not Sidney Poitier
"A profound novel, charged with emotional intelligence." - La Razón
"David Trueba has devised a complex tale about our present: about old age, about lost illusions, about illness, about what its like to be an immigrant ... There's no lasting bitterness in Learning to Lose. There's injustice, there's a certain psychological and physical cruelty. But no bitterness. There is sadness in some of those who win. And, above all, the silent wisdom of those who bear the consequences of what befalls them. An excellent novel." - El País
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David Trueba was born in Madrid in 1969 and has been successful both as a novelist and as a screenwriter. La buena vida was his widely acclaimed debut as a film director and was followed by Obra maestra, Soldados de Salamina, Bienvenido a casa, and La silla de Fernando. He is the author of two previous novels, Cuatro amigos and Abierto toda la noche. Learning to Lose won the Critics Award in 2009 and marks Truebas English-language debut.
Mara Faye Lethem translates from Spanish and Catalan, including authors such as Albert Sánchez Piñol, Juan Marsé, Javier Calvo, Patricio Pron, and Pablo DeSantis. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she has lived in Barcelona since 2003.
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