A Manuscript of Ashes by Antonio Muñoz Molina
A Manuscript of Ashes
by Antonio Munoz Molina
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A Manuscript of Ashes, Antonio Muñoz Molina’s debut novel (though not his first translated into English), reads as a primer on his work. Published in the author’s native Spain in 1986, it demonstrates his early postmodernist tendencies—particularly a predilection for narratives that shift in time and for shadowy narrators who destabilize the story. It also reveals the moral and philosophical issues that appear in his later novels, including the way in which the present embodies the past.
Minaya, a university student with literary ambitions, has been detained by the police during the terrors of the Franco dictatorship. Preoccupied with “the smell of confined bodies” and “the sirens of police wagons,” he seeks refuge at his uncle Manuel’s country estate in Mágina, “a motionless shipwreck” of a town
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