Water over Stones: A Novel (Paperback)

Water over Stones: A Novel By Bernardo Atxaga, Margaret Jull Costa (Translated by) Cover Image

Water over Stones: A Novel (Paperback)


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A perceptive, moving novel about life and death in the Basque Country, from the author of Nevada Days.

Bernardo Atxaga’s Water over Stones follows a group of interconnected people in a small village in the Basque Country. It opens with the story of a young boy who has returned from his French boarding school to his uncle’s bakery, where his family hopes he will speak again. He’s been silent since an incident in which he threw a stone at a teacher for reasons unknown. With the assistance of twin brothers who take him to a river in the forest, he’ll recover his speech. As the years pass, those twins, now adults, will be part of a mining strike in the Ugarte region, and so take up the mantle of the narrative, just as others will after them.

Water over Stones is similar in nature to Atxaga’s earlier books Obabakoak and The Accordionist’s Son, as it weaves in themes of friendship, nature, and death. Yet in capturing a span of time from the early 1970s, when the shadow of the Franco dictatorship still loomed, to 2017, when these boys must learn to leave their old beliefs behind and move on, Atxaga finds new richness and depth in familiar subjects. As threads of water run over stones in the river, so these lives run together, and, over time, technology and industry bring new changes as the wheel of life turns.

Bernardo Atxaga is a prizewinning author whose books, including Nevada Days, Seven Houses in France, and The Accordionist’s Son, have won international critical acclaim. His works have been translated into thirty-two languages. He lives in the Basque Country.

Margaret Jull Costa is the award-winning translator of José Saramago, Javier Marías, Eça de Queiroz, and Fernando Pessoa. She is the translator of Bernardo Atxaga's The Accordionist’s Son, Nevada Days, Obabakoak, and Seven Houses in France.

Product Details ISBN: 9781644450956
ISBN-10: 164445095X
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: August 16th, 2022
Pages: 400
Language: English
“His voice, fluidly translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Thomas Bunstead, runs like a river, meandering across lives.”—Andy Tepper, The New York Times