Publication Date: 10/02/2022 ISBN: 9781912854776 Category:


Sonia Hernandez, Samuel Rutter

Publisher: Scribe Publications
Publication Date: 10/02/2022 ISBN: 9781912854776 Category:
Paperback / Softback




A sly and playful novel about the many faces we all have.

Fifteen-year-old Berta says that beautiful things aren’t made for her, she isn’t destined to have them, the only things she deserves are ugly. It’s why her main activity, when she’s not at school, is playing the ‘prosopagnosia game’ – standing in front of the mirror and holding her breath until she can no longer recognise her own face.

Berta’s mother is in her forties. By her own estimation, she is at least twenty kilos overweight, and her husband has just left her. Her whole life, she has felt a keen sense of being very near to the end of things. She used to be a cultural critic for a regional newspaper. Now she feels it is her responsibility to make her and her daughter’s lives as happy as possible.

A man who claims to be the famous Mexican artist Vicente Rojo becomes entangled in their lives when he sees Berta faint at school and offers her the gift of a painting. This sets in motion an uncanny game of assumed and ignored identities, where the limits of what one wants and what one can achieve become blurred.

Publisher Review

'With [Prosopagnosia], Sonia Hernandez cements her place as one of the most individual voices of her generation.' * La Vanguardia * 'In this warm, lively, and intellectual novel, Hernandez's greatest achievement is allowing the protagonist to release her trauma in a way that is both simple and true.' -- Santos Sanz Villanueva * El Cultural * 'One of the best writers of her generation.' -- Ines Martin Rodrigo * ABC * 'A novel of our times that explores the difficulty of constructing oneself as a person and the chaos of how things seem to happen to us.' -- Lluis Satorras * Babelia * 'A tale of the conflict between reality and deception, and how the many forms of exile and solitude come together. A beautiful, enigmatic novel.' -- Enrique Vila-Matas * El Pais * 'A reflection on false appearances, assumed identities, the need to invent other lives for ourselves, and the need for art itself.' -- Angel Ortin Pascual * Heraldo de Aragon * 'As structured and well-articulated as the paintings that inspired it.' -- Isabel Gomez Melenchon * La Vanguardia * '[D]elivers a serious reflection on the purpose and meaning of literary fiction.' -- Domingo Rodenas * El Periodico * 'For Hernandez, plot is just an excuse to articulate her own original ideas about beauty, identity, and exile, and this makes each of her books a declaration of ethical and aesthetic principles. This novel is not a means but an end in itself: the materialisation of her most important themes from life and literature.' -- Liliana Munoz * Criticismo * 'Sonia Hernandez' writing is unsettling and unconventional, marked by a complete independence from the dominant trends of contemporary novels in Spanish.' -- Santos Sanz Villanueva * El Mundo * 'Hernandez offers many insights into the value of experience, of travel as personal discovery, and the difficulty of explaining ourselves in our own words. A novel of reflection.' -- Suarez Lafuente * La Nueva Espana * 'A narratively ambitious reflection on art, beauty, motherhood, and identity ... A conceptually fascinating book.' * Kirkus Reviews * 'Bewitching and intelligent.' * Happy Magazine * 'This quirky coming-of-age novel by a celebrated young Spanish writer centres on a tender mother-daughter relationship.' * New York Times 'New & Noteworthy' * '[B]eguiling ... the various characters' deceptions are unveiled skillfully by Hernandez as she distorts the reader's sense of reality. This novel is more than it seems.' * Publishers Weekly * 'Hernandez leads us on a reflection about truth and reality, about perception and beauty. The book is best read slowly, with time to absorb and contemplate our own reality and how we might be deceiving ourselves.' * Asymptote 'New in Translation' * '[A]n intellectual and unflinching novel that is not afraid to ask the big questions. What is art? What is beauty? What is truth? Does any of it matter? ... Herna ndez's economy of language is masterful as she delves into questions that define a culture. Prosopagnosia is an uncanny portrait of what it means to be a human in the world today grappling with beauty, and confronting the way the internet has changed our relationship to art.' * Write or Die Tribe *

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