In contrast to the way some other countries have handled life after a dictatorship, in Spain, once Franco died, silence reigned. Seen as a necessity to smooth and quicken the transition to a modern democracy, no one made reclamations about the abuses of power, and the old wounds festered.
No Turning Back is my translation of Lidia Falcón's Camino sin retorno. It is the first novel to describe conditions in prisons at the end of the dictatorship and also the first to point out the inherent machismo of both sides of the political coin, making progress for women challenging, to say the least.
The book debuts this month (specifics as soon as I find out!) and I am proud to have had a part in bringing such an important document to the English-speaking world.
Barcelona, 1986: The dictatorship is over and life is free and easy. But what if you can’t forget the seventies?
Elisa’s troubled past comes back to her in the form of her ex-husband, Arnau, who needs her help to exonerate a former comrade. Elisa relives her Catholic childhood, her marriage to Arnau, her blind loyalty to the communist cause, her experiments in feminism, and her prison time to create a twentieth-century emotional history of the political Left in Spain. The women who faced so much adversity with Elisa weave their own perspectives and testimonies into hers, making this more than a novel: it’s an important contribution to history that gives a voice to the silenced.
Can Elisa ever leave the path history has carved out for her? Is there really no turning back?
“Followers of contemporary Spanish history … will now have the opportunity to understand some of its complex factors … through Falcón’s unswerving critical appraisal of Spanish politics. … Knauss’s agile and eloquent translation guarantees that the memory of clandestine resistance is no longer consigned to the past or to scholars.” —from the critical introduction by Linda Gould Levine
My husband, who actually has a Y chromosome, agrees that this book is incredibly important. It's a compelling read for anyone interested in justice. More information, and the book itself, is soon to come!