Dark Back of Time is a compelling story of the way in which reality blurs into fiction by Javier Marías. It is translated by Esther Allen in Penguin Modern Classics.
’We lose everything because everything remains except us’, says the mysterious narrator of this extraordinary novel, which meditates on the transience, chance and fragility of life. As a man called Javier Marías recalls the strange events and people that shaped his past, including ghostly literary figures, a pilot, an adventurer, a brother who died as a child and the king of an island in the Caribbean, we begin to question the nature of time, memory and reality itself. Here the writer is both a keeper of memories and a purveyor of illusions, destined to be lost in the dark back of time.
Javier Marías was born in Madrid in 1951. He has published ten novels, two collections of short stories and several volumes of essays. His work has been translated into thirty-two languages and won a dazzling array of international literary awards, including the prestigious Dublin IMPAC award for A Heart So White. He is also a highly practised translator into Spanish of English authors, including Joseph Conrad, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne.