Salt Water

by

Translated from by

Published:

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ISBN: 9781939810724 eISBN: 9781939810731

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Book Description

Dripping with a panache that can turn in a comic instant to the most conciliatory humility, Josep Pla’s foray into the land and sea most familiar to him will plunge readers headfirst into its mysterious (and often tasty!) depths. Here are adventures and shipwrecks, raspy storytellers and the fishy meals that sustain them. After describing the process of beating an octopus with branches to soften up its flesh, Pla writes, “These are dishes that must be seen as a last resort.” Ever the authority on flavor and the brisk etiquette of sailing, eating, scheming, and smuggling, Pla is our stalwart captain through each windy, sun-soaked tale. A lifetime of reporting on current events gave Pla the necessary skills to describe the world in all its gritty, funny, invigorating detail.

Pla’s stories are generally unadorned and precise in their renderings of both the people and the places of the far northeast of Spain, lives full of hardship and labor—but also their insistence on freedom. A fine introduction to a writer little known outside his native land and who memorably captures its atmosphere.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


Josep Pla’s dazzling collection of Hemingwayesque nonfiction essays—started during the stay-at-home orders of the “Spanish” flu outbreak of 1918—makes a striking appearance in the current moment. Its portraits and vignettes are full of the love for the close company of other people and their intrigues, from which we are as much removed now as he was then. It is as crisp in its intimacy with the stalwart souls of maritime Catalonia in the early twentieth century as a mistral wind coming down a mountain is—a wind which stops you for a few days, even a week, maybe a lifetime, to remind you of the core pleasure of gathering with other bodies in a warm room.
Edgar Garcia


PRAISE FOR JOSEP PLA’S LIFE EMBITTERS



Josep Pla was a great noticer of things and places; his gaze was alert and dry; he wrote in a style which registered both the smallest detail and the large picture.
Colm Tóibín


Pla’s book of “narrations” shows us why this Catalan writer is considered the “finest . . . of his generation.” Each narrative piece is like a still-life, focusing on the tangible and memorable things of this world. Pla invites us to share his perspective on the complexity and sensuality of our surroundings.
Book Riot


Pla has often been compared with the great Joseph Roth – they were both astute witnesses of their respective worlds . . . Outstanding.
Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times


Pla details the foibles, frailties, and eccentricities of his characters in vibrant, earthy prose tempered by a biting sense of humor . . . His abundant literary gifts allowed him to record in his narratives what he saw, heard, touched, tasted, and smelled with startling clarity and sharpness.
Kristine Morris, Foreword Reviews