Tuyo es el mañana

AUTHOR: Pablo Martín Sánchez
PUBLISHER: Acantilado
GENRE: Fiction
READER’S NAME: Adan Griego
DATE: April 15, 2017

Tuyo es el mañana (Tomorrow is Yours) is the second novel in a trilogy by one of Spain’s up-and-coming authors.  The first text (El anarquista que se llamaba como yo) grew out of a google search with author Pablo Martín Sánchez finding a tragic historical character sharing his name.

For this second novel the country’s recent history is presented through a multiplicity of voices, some human (a new-born baby, a school-age girl, a professor, a journalism student, a shady businessman), some no longer alive (an older lady in a painting) and some not even human (a racing dog).

The text unfolds during a 24-hour period with every chapter documenting the exact time of when the action takes place. An intense narrative gives readers a first-hand experience of Spain’s transition to democracy, like a new-born about to enter an uncertain future.  A single day in 1977 with each character experiencing an equally important transitional moment like what the country itself faces after more than forty years of the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1936-1975).  It could even be argued that Franquismo itself is an eighth character in search of an author as an ideology undergoing changes in a society eagerly looking to abandon authoritarian rule and move forward.

An academic by training, Pablo Martín Sánchez is an artist managing to weave several stories, often leaving the reader with unending curiosity of what the next chapter will bring: the sign of an engaging text.  At times it’s a challenging narrative with historical references mentioned in passing.  The novel’s title itself comes from a popular song used as part of the political campaign in 1976.  Some of these details would need a brief translator’s note.

Already translated into other languages, some of this author’s short stories are available in English as a college project that also includes a translated interview. A few others appeared in Missing Slate magazine. The novel under review has the potential to serve as an accompanying text to a history of Spain’s transition to democracy, reaching two audiences with one narrative. The literature scholar will recognize traces of Borges and Cortazar, the historian will experience primary sources in a…novel kind of way.

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