Translated from by

Published: March 6, 2018



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Book Description

Set in the politically charged climate of the Basque Country in the 1980s, Twist relates the disappearance and brutal murder of two ETA militants at the hands of the Spanish army. The novel centers on their friend and fellow activist Diego Lazkano, who, since revealing his comrades to the authorities, has been tormented by guilt. With Diego as a point of departure, the novel enters into the lives of numerous characters directly or indirectly implicated in the murder. In Twist, Harkaitz Cano provides a multi-vocal account of a conscience and a society in turmoil. It is a tale of guilt, love, friendship, and betrayal, and of the difficulties that arise when one flees one’s own skin to inhabit the minds of others.

A prolific writer of novels, short stories, poetry, essays, plays, radio and television scripts, and comics, Harkaitz Cano is one of the leading literary figures of the Basque Country.

“Narrated with extraordinary verve... We need works like these, conceived and composed without any hint of frivolity, set out on the endless task of making our world more intelligible.”
Ricardo Senabre, El Cultural

“Surgical, glittering, and poetic prose ... Cano has created a branching multiplicity of stories within a story, borrowing from the mastery of William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, or Philip Roth. Literature with a capital L.”
Hasier Rekondo, Koult

“What makes Twist such a powerful novel is precisely the fact that it does not take sides, but rather digs down into the human experience and into what makes human beings so worthy of both admiration and contempt.”
J.A. Masoliver Ródenas, La Vanguardia

“Action-packed as the twist, bitter as the tango, nostalgic as the bolero. A novel where there are no heroes, only men of flesh and bone, who can cheat and betray and abandon.”
Rosa Berros Canuria, Cuentame una Historia

“A grand novel…an intense and profound history…despite being set in the context of the Basque conflict, the novel tells us about all of friendship, of the absence and the feeling of guilt.”
Javier Rojos, El Correo

Twist is a powerful novel of the effects of violence within a society and how the repercussions of violent acts continue to be felt for years and decades after they take place.

Stephanie Jane, Lit Flits

Cano's book is a meditation on secrets and historical truth...Camus meets Hamlet: a slow but meaningful examination of guilt and expiation.

Kirkus Reviews

Twist makes its distinctive contributions by exploring what might have never been recorded, by considering what might have escaped documentation or even recollection...translator Amaia Gabantxo expertly locates latent rhythms in Cano’s prose and renders a number of different narrative voices.

Sam Carter, Asymptote

Visit Harkaitz Cano’s website.

Browse the Etxepare Basque Institute’s website for information about the history of Basque language (Euskera) and culture.

Watch this video in which Harkaitz Cano talks about his approach to poetry.

Watch an interview on RTVE with Harkaitz Cano in Spanish discussing the release of Twist.

Read this interview in Spanish with Harkaitz Cano discussing the release of the Spanish translation of Twist and the current state of Basque letters.