Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Translated by Margaret Lull Costa

Falling somewhere between Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and Federico Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, Hunting the Last Wild Man tells the story of Candela and her extended family of nine women. Our protagonist has had her disappointments in love and floats from one job to another, ending up at the local mortuary as an apprentice embalmer. There she can tuck herself away from the everyday hubbub of life's demands.

Late one night Candela finds she must work on the father of a gypsy clan, who has left instructions that he must be buried with his cane. Her days are changed forever when she discovers that the cane holds more than just the old man's wishes. With rich images suggestive of an Almodovar film, with emotional depth and intelligence, Vallvey explores the modern woman's cynicism, as Candela attempts to integrate an impossibly marvelous stranger into her life.

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“Vallvey's language is playful and inventive, the narrative well paced and involving. But although the plot is full of shocking little twists, it's Candela's voice that compels attention, more than the events that surround her. Her questing nature finds expression in funny and touching ways, making her an engaging heroine.”

“A humorous novel . . . worthy of an Almodóvar film.”

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Angela Vallvey’s 1997 The Sentimental Life of Bugs Bunny, written for young adults, established her reputation in her native Spain. Since then she has received the 1998 Jaén Poetry Award for her El tamaño del universo (The Size of the Universe) and the prestigious Premio Nadal for Los estados carenciales (Needy States) in 2002. In 2008 her novel Muerte entre poetas (Death Among Poets) became a finalist for the Premio Planeta de Novela, the second-most financially valuable literary prize in the world behind the Nobel. Vallvey lives in Madrid.