With unnerving insistence A Heart So White chronicles the relentless power of the past. Juan knows little of the interior life of his father Ranz; but when Juan marries, he considers the past anew, and begins to ponder what he doesn't really want to know. Secrecy, its possible convenience, its price, and even its civility permeates the novel. A Heart So White becomes a sort of anti-detective story of human nature. Intrigue; the sins of the father; the fraudulent and the genuine; marriage and strange repetitions of violence: Marías elegantly sends shafts of inquisitory light into shadows––and reckons the costs of ambivalence. ("My hands are of your colour; but I shame/To wear a heart so white" – Macbeth.) Called "dazzling" by The London Times Literary Supplement and "a landmark by a genuine artist" by Le Monde, A Heart So White won the Dublin IMPAC Prize and was rated by El País as "his best and most ambitious novel."
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