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Plants Don't Drink Coffee

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Plants Don't Drink Coffee Cover

ISBN13: 9780977857685
ISBN10: 0977857689
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“I read Unai Elorriaga’s latest novel almost without stopping to breathe. Breathlessly, yes, but not quickly, because Elorriaga’s books are not the kind you read in two or three hours and put back on the shelf. It is a very good novel. Incredibly good.”—Gorka Bereziartua

Plants Don't Drink Coffee achieves a graceful balance between playfulness (in both language and character) and depth of emotion and thought. Unai Elorriaga gives voice to unassuming characters, to “small” people with “small” lives; he magnifies things that often go unnoticed. Four stories narrated from different perspectives crisscross throughout the novel. In the first-person, the young Tomas—who wants above all else to be intelligent—tells us why it is so important for him to catch a blue dragonfly and introduces his extended (and eccentric) family to us one by one. We observe the surrealist creation of a rugby field on a golf course, unravel the mystery of why a couple of forty years never married, and delve into the intrigue surrounding a European carpentry competition that Tomas’ grandfather had taken part in. Vredaman is teaming with dreamers, free spirits, and nonconformists who follow their inner voices. Beneath the novel’s lighthearted and balletic ways lies a gentle wisdom, a lucid vision of human emotion.

Unai Elorriaga’s first novel, A Streetcar to SP,won Spain’s prestigious National Narrative Prize in 2002. The jury was taken by the freshness of his voice and by how utterly unique the book was. Elorriaga is the most celebrated young Basque author in the Spanish literary landscape. Although influenced by Julio Cortázar and Juan Rulfo, Elorriaga stands alone in both the inventiveness of his narrative and in the particular way his characters reveal their humanity. Elorriaga is truly breaking new ground.

Amaia Gabantxo is a literary translator, writer, and reviewer. Her work has appeared in many journals and newspapers, including TheTimes Literary Supplement and The Independent, as well as in An Anthology of Basque Short Stories and Spain: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press). Her translation of Anjel Lertxundi’s Perfect Happiness is forthcoming.

Synopsis:

Weaving the invisible with the unspeakable, a young Basque boy lets us into his private world.

Synopsis:

Four stories narrated from four different perspectives crisscross throughout this poignant and playful novel. Young Tomas - who wants above all else to be intelligent - embarks upon a dizzying search for a rare blue dragonfly, of which he believes there are only nine or ten in the world (and therefore probably only two or three in his town). Drawing us into the channels of his mercurial mind, skipping through misadventures and stumbling upon a host of small wonders, we are introduced to three generations of his motley family tree and accompany them on their odd quests. From the moonlit creation of a rugby field on a golf course, to the unearthing of the escapades of his anarchist grandfather, a celebrated carpenter, the medley of tales flips on their heads standard assumptions about age, wisdom, sensibility, and truth, inviting us to open our eyes to the bounty of tiny marvels that make up our world.

About the Author

Unai Elorriaga (1973 - ) won the prestigious Spanish Premio Nacional de Narrativa in 2002 for his first novel, SP rako tranbia (A tram to SP). He is also the author of the novel Van't Hoffen ilea (Van't Hoff's Hair) and numerous anthologized short stories. He currently works as a translator and professor at the Instituto Labairu de Bilbao. Gabantxo is a literary translator, writer and reviewer. Her work appears in many journals and newspapers, including the Times Literary Supplement and The Independent, as well as in An Anthology of Basque Short Stories (University of Nevada) and Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Whereabouts Press). Her translation of Lertxundi's Perfect Happiness is forthcoming from University of Nevada Press.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Bethany Canfield, September 23, 2009 (view all comments by Bethany Canfield)
In Plants Don't Drink Coffee the reader follows the story of four very diverse yet intersecting people while enjoying a ride of lightheartedness and depth. Tomas a young boy with the desire above all else to be intelligent, is the star of this novel or maybe one of the stars. He is precocious and witty and incredibly funny to read. When reading his thoughts you can hear him saying these things in a pre-adolescent, high-pitched and non-stopping excited sort of way. There is a main story which unites all four people that is clever and has a mystery feel to it, or adventure.

This book for me was a complete success. Unai did everything right in his writing and the translation was incredible as well (by Amaia Gabantxo). It was one of those books where you feel the need to keep reading it through the chapter breaks, and every time you sit down you want to lap it up. Reading about the Basque culture was very interesting to me, as it is a people group that intrigues me in their strength and resourcefulness.

I took this with me on the plane on my trip to Spain and it was the perfect read to keep my attention all through the long hours of sleeplessness on the plane, and then to help me pass some of my jet lag mid-night reading sessions after we arrived. Plants Don't Drink Coffee never failed to impress me, I loved most the honesty of the voice, the transparency of failures, the clever voice of a child and the witty actions of everyone. It is one of the best books I have read this year. Loved it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780977857685
Author:
Elorriaga, Unai
Publisher:
Archipelago Books
Translator:
Gabantxo, Amaia
Author:
Gabantxo, Amaia
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
7.1 x 5.6 x 0.6 in 8.5 oz

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Plants Don't Drink Coffee New Trade Paper
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Product details 200 pages Archipelago Books - English 9780977857685 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Weaving the invisible with the unspeakable, a young Basque boy lets us into his private world.
"Synopsis" by , Four stories narrated from four different perspectives crisscross throughout this poignant and playful novel. Young Tomas - who wants above all else to be intelligent - embarks upon a dizzying search for a rare blue dragonfly, of which he believes there are only nine or ten in the world (and therefore probably only two or three in his town). Drawing us into the channels of his mercurial mind, skipping through misadventures and stumbling upon a host of small wonders, we are introduced to three generations of his motley family tree and accompany them on their odd quests. From the moonlit creation of a rugby field on a golf course, to the unearthing of the escapades of his anarchist grandfather, a celebrated carpenter, the medley of tales flips on their heads standard assumptions about age, wisdom, sensibility, and truth, inviting us to open our eyes to the bounty of tiny marvels that make up our world.
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