Friday, December 29, 2006

Book Review: Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol

Already translated into fifteen languages, Cold Skin (originally titled La pell freda) won the Ojo Critico Narrativa prize on its original publication in Catalan in 2002, an amazing feat for anthropologist Albert Sánchez Piñol, born in Barcelona in 1965, who debuted with this darkly beautiful novel. Consider a discrete synopsis:

A young, nameless narrator arrives by ship sometime after World War I at a remote island somewhere in the south Atlantic near the Antarctic Circle. It is there—far away from the normal shipping lanes, apparently more than six hundred leagues from the nearest large landmass—that he is to remain alone for a year. He will take on the unlikely job at this desolate outpost as the weather official for a company that has an incomprehensible need for such a person.
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