This is a story about money, about how the money that a woman does not have will shape her life.
Maria and Alicia are a grandmother and granddaughter who have never met. Decades apart, both are drawn to Madrid in search of work and independence. Maria, scraping together a living as a cleaner and carer, sending money back home for the daughter she hardly knows; Alicia, raised in prosperity until her family was brought low by tragedy, now trapped in a low-paid job and a cycle of banal infidelities. Their lives are marked by precarity, and by the haunting sense of how things might have been different.
Through a series of arresting vignettes, Elena Medel weaves together a broken family's story, stretching from the last years of Franco's dictatorship to the 2018 Spanish Women's Strike. Audacious, intimate and shot through with sharp-edged lyricism, The Wonders is a revelatory novel about the many ways that lives are shaped by class, history and feminism; about what has changed for working-class women, and what has remained stubbornly the same.
Elena Medel was born in Cordoba in 1985 and lives in Madrid. She is the author of three poetry collections and two works of non-fiction. At 19 she founded the poetry publishing house La Bella Varsovia, one of the most prestigious in the Spanish-speaking world. She is the recipient of the XXVI Loewe Prize for Young Poets, the Princess of Girona Foundation Arts and Literature Award 2016 for the whole of her work and the Francisco Umbral Prize for the Best Book Of The Year 2020. The Wonders is her first novel, and will be translated into thirteen languages.
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