Javier Marías: Background information when reading The Infatuations

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Infatuations

A Novel

by Javier Marías

The Infatuations by Javier Marías
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Karen Rigby

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Javier Marías

Print Review

"A veces escribo para averiguar qué escribo" (Sometimes I write to discover what I write). So says Javier Marías—native of Madrid, and highly acclaimed novelist who has been widely tipped as a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Marías is a translator (to Spanish) of authors such as Faulkner, Yeats, Shakespeare, and Nabokov; an essayist; columnist for Madrid's newspaper El País; and member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language.

Javier Marías Javier was born September 20, 1951 to a philosopher father, Julián Marías—who was briefly imprisoned after the Spanish Civil War, and who opposed the Franco regime—and to a translator/editor mother. He was raised in an intellectual home and resided for a short time in the U.S. while his father taught at Wellesley College and other institutions. Javier graduated from the famous Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in the world, with a degree in English Literature. Incidentally the university was also his father's alma mater.

During his late teens, Javier Marías ran away to Paris with a specific goal of writing a novel about American movies. Living with his uncle, he managed to complete his debut Los dominios del lobo (The Dominions of the Wolf), which was published in 1971.

Subsequent novels include All Souls, which is set in Oxford University and draws inspiration from his time teaching there. It was not until A Heart So White, a novel hinging on suicide, that he received significant critical notice in Europe, where his books have sold millions. Other notable works include his trilogy, Your Face Tomorrow, which draws on autobiographical details. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including France's Prix Fémina Award and Italy's Nonino Literature Prize. In 2012, The Infatuations was selected for Spain's national narrative prize, which Marías turned down, preferring not to receive the government's publicly funded award. Marías has stated that he does not want "to be seen as an author who is favoured by any particular government," and has criticized the Spanish government for neglecting gifted writers (including his own father) in the past.

Marías spent several years translating, a practice he regards as critical to shaping and educating writers, as well as for writing novels. His work often features translators and interpreters as characters, and usually has male narrators (The Infatuations being an exception). Citing influences that range from Henry James to 17th century author Thomas Browne, among others, his signature style is comprised of long, clause-filled introspections and digressions. Betrayals and a keen interest in the unfolding of time also recur. He does not write with a computer, and admits to an idiosyncratic method – favoring careful, page-by-page writing over multiple revisions. He lives in Madrid.

Article by Karen Rigby

This article was originally published in September 2013, and has been updated for the April 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Essex Serpent
    by Sarah Perry

    Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.