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Javier Cercas Books In Order

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Publication Order of Terra Alta Books

Even the Darkest Night (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prey for the Shadow (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Soldiers of Salamis (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Speed of Light (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anatomy of a Moment (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outlaws (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Impostor (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lord of All the Dead (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Blind Spot (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prey for the Shadow (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Vision and the Path (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Blind Spot: An Essay on the Novel (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Javier Cercas Mena is a Spanish writer of literary fiction and a University of Girona professor of Spanish literature.

The author is best known for his novel “Soldiers of Salamis,” which he published in 2003. Since the publishing of that novel, he has become very popular and has now published more than eight fiction novels.
In fact, he has become part of a group of well know novelists from Spain that includes the likes of Jesus Ferrero, Andres Trapiello, and Julio Llamazares.

These are authors who have penned historical fiction works focused on the Francois state and the Spanish Civil War.

Cercas Mena has become something of an expert in the period as he was born and grew up just in time for the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship of Franco.

While he was the author of many works, it was with the publishing of “Soldiers of Salamis” that he really came into his own. The work won critical acclaim when it came out that it was translated into English.
It also drove interest in his other works such as “Outlaws’ and “Speed of Light,” which made the shortlist for the 2016 and 2008 International Dublin Literary Awards.
For a year between 2014 and 2015, he taught at St Anne’s College where he taught European Comparative Literature as a Weidenfeld Visting Professor.

Cercas Mena was born to a rural veterinarian in Estremadura but in 1966 when he was just four years old his family moved. He would then spend much of his childhood in Tarragona in Catalonia and went to study with the Jesuits.

When he was about fifteen, he began reading Jorge Luis Borges and this would be the birth of his passion for writing. He would become a voracious reader just like many authors usually are before they ultimately become writers.

After reading all manner of books, he would develop the impulse of imitation. Some of the works that he began reading during this time were adventure novels from the likes of Emilio Salgari and Robert Louis Stevenson.
These made him aware of language and he learned that literature was made of language. At some point, he started reading Latin American authors such as Borges, even though the English tradition remained very important.

He also used to read Oscar Wilde and “De Profundis” remains one of her favorite works. Javier Mena has also been influenced by the likes of Gustave Flaubert, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Evelyn Waugh.
As for his contemporaries, his best inspiration has to be Miguel de Cervantes and his novel “Don Quixote.”

In 1985, Javier Cercas graduated from the Autonomous University of Barcelona with a Hispanic Philology degree.

He would then get his Ph.D. at the same institution before he found work at the Urbana-based University of Illinois where he worked for two years.

It was while he was working in Urbana that he published “El Movil” his debut novel and began work on his second. In 1989, he moved to Girona where he found employment at the University of Girona teaching Spanish literature.
Things blew up for him in 2001 when he published “Soldados de Salamina,” which paved his way to becoming a mass author.

It was Mario Vargas Llosa who first found the orks and praised it in a famous article which soon resulted in positive critical reviews from the likes of Susan Sontag and John Maxwell Coetzee.
In addition to his writing, he regularly contributes to the Sunday supplement and the Catalan edition of the “El Pais” newspaper.

His work has now been translated into more than twenty languages while Javier has also translated the likes of HG Wells and several Catalan authors.

Javier Cercas’s novel “Upper Land” opens with a shocking double murder of the Adells. The elderly couple had been tortured to death in a crime that horrifies the residents.

Francesc Adell was the owner of a very successful printing house located in the High Country north of Valencia. This was a notoriously poor and tough land with a lot of poverty and hence the Adells were among the major employers in the region.
But as is often the case, you can make a lot of enemies in the process of making money. In charge of the investigation is a young detective named Melchor Marin who only wants to start a new life and forget his checkered past back home in Barcelona.
Will this be the case that finally makes it possible for him to turn his life around? As is usual with Cercas, there is more than meets the eye in the case.

The more he investigates, the more he unearths as there is a lot of history and hatred in this part of Spain.

It makes for an elegantly constructed and thought-provoking thriller about revenge, justice, and how a man struggles to find his place in what is a very corrupt world.

“Independence” is a work set four years following the resolution of the Ardell case. Melchor has just been summoned by his former boss at the Terra Alta Investigation Unit in Barcelona.
He needs his help in the investigation into a blackmail case involving the Condal city mayor. Some people have been threatening to release a video of the counselor in which she had a sexual encounter with three young men during her youthful days.
While he is still reeling from the death of Olga his wife and the murder of his mother, he accepts and joins the extortion and kidnapping unit.

He soon finds himself chest-deep in a game of political strategy, manipulation, and power, seasoned with card cloning, technological crimes, online casinos, and cryptocurrencies.
The work provides a portrait of life in Barcelona, particularly among the elites who have all the economic and political power to shape the destinies of the Catalans.

In “Bluebeard’s Castle” by Javier Cercas, the action is set a decade following the vents of the second book in 1935.
Melchor’s teenage daughter Cosette has finally discovered that her father has been lying to her for years. She is so disappointed and leaves to go to Mallorca to cool off alongside her best friend.

But when it’s time to come home, only her friend comes back while Cosette stops responding to her father’s messages and calls. He becomes convinced that something bad has happened and leaves to go search for her.

Melchor has to deal with an inefficient judicial system and the police but will do everything in his power, even if it means taking the law into his own hands to protect his daughter.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Javier Cercas

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