(Males Herbes, 2016)
Illustrated by: Aitana Carrasco
Novel: adult
Literary style: narrative
Language: catalan, english
Genre: nouvelle, psychological novel, self fiction

The narrator of this story arrives by train at a beach with a new born girl on her back. She prepares to spend a few weeks in one of the sandy huts. Her husband has just died and she needs to open a parenthesis: forget something, discover something else. However, the appearance of a starfish precedes a series of disturbing events, and as the main character cracks, we are immersed in the uncertain territory of the allegory.

With a lively and direct style and an overwhelming poetic force, Muriel Villanueva guides us through the daily and at the same time fantastic journey of a woman in search of her own maturity.

Visit the translation to english.

«Very poetic and allegorical. A very special atmosphere.»

Anna Guitart, Tria 33.

«A short novel with an intense chill, about letting go with each sentence, of a refined writing. With a universe that contains pain and doubts, with the overwhelming fantasy of a raw reality.»

Esteve Plantada, Nació Digital.

«Self fiction like El parèntesi esquerre by Muriel Villanueva, yes. Brave, clear and shaking. Bravo, Muriel!»

Tina Vallès, writer.

«Muriel Villanueva gave birth to a book that’s awesome. Her voice is becoming unmistakeable to my head. Congratulations!»

Yannick Garcia, writer and translator.

«The prose of El parèntesi esquerre is tense and balsamic, forceful and poetic, a friend of metaphors without getting lost in digressions. There aren’t many layers to distract from the essence of this self fiction, in which some wounds close but leaving scars.»

Núria Juanico, Núvol.

«A short novel, as well as round and moving, nourished by the increasingly identifiable style of the author and a fascinating management of allegorical and fantastic elements. A world. Or rather a whole universe, Muriel’s, polysemic and suggestive.»

Xavi Aliaga.

«Villanueva introduces herself as a grown author who knows where she’s going, who knows exactly what she’s doing when she’s writing.»

Marina Porras, Ara Llegim.

«Avoiding stereotypes and cultural models of experience and identity; Trying new languages.»

Anna M. Gil, Cultura/s, La Vanguardia.

What readers say

«I really don’t know what you all are waiting for to read Muriel Villanueva’s El parèntesi esquerre.»

Jordi Cadellans, actor and writer.

«120 great and unmissable pages.»

Lali Ribera, poet.

«I have read while I was walking, while the cashier handed out the yoghurts and hummus and told me how much it was worth, while I took out the card to pay an amount of less than three euros, while I went up and down the stairs, while I crossed Plaza Huesca, while I kept what I had bought in the refrigerator. And I haven’t left him until I finished it. It’s pretty, I can tell. […] I guarantee you that there is good poetry here, that will give you goosebumps, that you will hear the tears that are preparing, that will outline smiles of complicity.»

Gerard de Josep, journalist.

«I started on a Sunday in the early afternoon and by night I had already finished it. I couldn’t get up from the couch. The rhythm of his prose caught me completely and surely it would have taken less time to finish it if it weren’t for the fact that every two or three pages I had to stop and reread the fragment to savor it again. Do you know what I’m talking about? When you feel completely identified with the story and you know that the reflections you are reading will serve you at one time or another and you need to underline them. The protagonist talks about maturity, relationships and the discovery of oneself. Reflections that are interspersed with a disturbing, visceral and poetic story. It has become, without a doubt, with one of our bedside books.»

Elisenda Solsona, writer.

«Muriel always forces me to read poetry, even though I write novels.»

Javi Agudo.