From the acclaimed, prize-winning Catalonian author of the novel Lost Luggage, a collection of nine masterful short stories about adulthood, heartbreak, and outsiders in search of their place in the world.
As one of Catalonia’s most acclaimed literary talents, Jordi Puntí’s writing is “full of invention and consistently gripping” (The Times Literary Supplement). Now, he returns to his American audience with this breathtaking short story collection. Sharing the title of the David Bowie song, it travels from Spain to America and back, showing the differences between the two places.
A man recalls a past love as he strolls through the lonely streets of Barcelona. A hitchhiker on the outskirts of the city of Vic carries his secrets in a briefcase. In northern Catalonia, a villager receives letters from a long-estranged brother and grapples with how to respond. Then there’s the man who wants to surprise his wife with a trip to Paris, only to swap it for a solitary cruise.
Showcasing “the author’s vivid imagination” (Kirkus Reviews), the stories in This Is Not America are effortless evocations of the strangeness of everyday life and the universal search for love and belonging.
Jordi Puntí is a writer, translator, and a regular contributor to the Spanish and Catalan press. Punti is considered one of the most promising new voices of contemporary Catalan literature. In 1998, he published his first book of short stories, Pell d’armadillo that won the Serra d’Or Critics’ Prize. He is also the author of the novel Lost Luggage.
“Lost Luggage is an ingenious creation, plotted with lovely patterns and symmetries. It is alert to the sheer untidiness of life and filled with the strange connections between public events and private destinies.”
– Colm Toibin, New York Times bestselling author of Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary
"Inventive, absorbing and beautifully written."
– The Daily Mail
"An adept translation of dazzlingly polyphonic fiction."
– Booklist, Starred Review
"A remarkable work of literary fiction that also manages to be unputdownable."
– London Review of Books
"Punti is a sprightly writer, delighting in taking us down byways and through backwaters as the novel circles Gabriel’s disappearance. But the big, bold self-consciously picaresque storytelling never completely loses sight of the book’s central theme, the ways in which family, and its lack, can shape a life."
– Financial Times
"A funny, moving and poignant exploration of identity, home, family and freedom."
– The Daily Express
"This is a remarkable work, full of invention and consistently gripping."
– Times Literary Supplement
“Punti delivers a richly told literary novel about four half brothers in search of their father… The characters’ wit and the author’s vivid imagination shine through in this beautiful translation from Catalan.”
– Kirkus Reviews
"The spark of magical realism enlivens Punti’s debut novel about four abandoned sons... [A] successful experiment in perspective, made lively by Punti’s extensive knowledge of the landscapes of Europe."
– Publishers Weekly
"Everything jostles happily in Jordi Punti. Nuns with a wooden leg, stuffed animals and racehorses. The Franco years, feminism, miniskirts and tear gas in May 68. A delightful first novel."