The Garden of Seven Twilights

The Garden of Seven Twilights

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By Miquel de Palol

Translated by Adrian Nathan West

ISBN: 9781628974515

Publication Date: 3/21/2023

During an atomic alarm in Barcelona in the year 2025, the thirty-year old hero takes refuge in a luxurious mansion in the mountains where he is put up, along with other guests, awaiting the outcome of the conflict. For the following seven days the residents of the mansion spend their spare time reading and taking walks , and, above all, telling stories to each other. The narrators (most of whom belong to the generation thirty years older than the hero's) are eight in number, and the stories they tell can be taken as autonomous ones, although, as the novel advances, it may soon be that when juxtaposed, they do indeed weave a web of intrigue about a family of bankers—a web that gradually involves some of the guests in the mansion.

The translation and promotion of this work has been supported by the Institut Ramon Llull.


"A vast novel of ideas masquerading as a novel of suspense ... The translator Adrian Nathan West renders Palol’s Catalan in baroque, allusive English."The New York Times

"The postmodern Decameron ... [Garden] is a frame-narrative monolith, a monstrously pregnant matryoshka doll of nested stories, and a cerebral, ludic, and unapologetically pulpy affair."—Los Angeles Review of Books

"You need a scorecard to keep track of the proceedings, but Palol delivers an entertaining intellectual mystery." —Kirkus Reviews

“A succession of adventures that follow on through an endless series of stories.” —Ramon Pla i Arxé, El País

“A really unconventional jewel that gives exceptional powers to those who exercise control over it.”—Isodor Cónsul, Avui

“With this work, Miquel de Palol shows us that he is capable of going back to the roots of the novelistic genre to bring us back that rare flavour we always seek in fiction works. He does so with an ironic form of didacticism which appears impregnated with the empirical poise that characterizes the classics.”—Pere Rovira, La Vanguardia

Biographical Information

Miquel de Palol (Barcelona, 1953) is one of the signal voices of contemporary Catalan letters. An architect by trade, he began to publish poetry at 19, and averaged a book of verse per year before bringing out El jardí dels set crepuscles, the novel many consider to be his masterpiece, in 1989. The author claims he considers this first work of narrative fiction a continuation of themes pursued in his earlier poetry. Remarkably prolific, Palol has published some forty books, including works of short fiction, children’s stories, and essays, and is a frequent contributor to the Spanish and Catalan press.

Adrian Nathan West is the author of The Aesthetics of Degradation (Repeater, 2016) and My Father’s Diet (And Other Stories, 2022) and the translator of thirty or so books, most from Spanish and German; his work has received numerous awards from English PEN and the Austrian Cultural Forum translation prize, and has been shortlisted for the International Booker and the National Book Award. His recent translations include Hermann Burger’s Brenner, Rainald Goetz’s Rave, and Sibylle Lacan’s A Father: Puzzle. He is also a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. His essays and literary criticism have appeared in numerous publications in print and online, including The New York Review of Books, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Baffler. He lives between Spain and the United States.