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The Garden of Secrets

by Juan Goytisolo

This is a complicated book! I found it hard to get into at first but stick with it - it gets clearer as you make it onto the author's wavelength. He really makes you think about the many ways the story of someone's life could be presented, and whether there can ever be a true version. You'll never feel the same about a biography again!

Extract

Amongst the shelves of postcards scrutinised in the small bookshop in Bab Ksur, one, in particular, had caught his eye: a close-up of a beggar, wrapped in a threadbare djellaba, seated with his staff on the ground. His beard seemed neat and tidy and he wore glasses, rather an anomaly in those days, it wasn't this really striking combination of detail which most disturbed him, but the plain outline of his nose and thin lips that were clearly European.

By chance might this be Eusebio?

Translated by Peter Bush

Parallels

A Universal Story of Infamy by Jorge Luis Borges
If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
 

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