Synopses & Reviews
In the rough hill country of rural Catalonia, the Spanish Civil War is over and the villagers live under occupation by the fascist Civil Guard. With his father in jail, facing possible execution as a subversive, and his mother working long hours in a factory, eleven-year-old Andreu is sent to live with his grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins in a farmhouse in a remote valley. His inquisitive, self-taught grandmother encourages him to study, but who will Andreu become? He doesn't want to be a farmhand, or work in a factory, or flee into exile in France like his uncle and aunt. His cousin Nuria invites him to play sex games with her in the woods, but Andreu cannot stop thinking about a young man he sees lying naked in a monastery garden.
Confronted on all sides by the need to define himself, Andreu must make a difficult decision. One of the major novels of contemporary Spain, and the inspiration for the first film in the Catalan language to be nominated by Spain for an Academy Award, Black Bread brings to life a rural world of mythical force as it traces with piercing psychological insight, in gorgeous prose, the movements of a boy's psyche as he contemplates growing into an adult.
Born in 1933, Emili Teixidor's first novel, Retrato de un asesino de pajaros, was published to tremendous acclaim in 1988, followed by several more which established him as one of Spain's greatest contemporary authors. Teixidor died in 2012.