A contemporary of Lorca and Bunuel in Spain's Second Republic, Max Aub escaped into a life of exile after General Franco seized Barcelona. His masterpiece, acknowledged in Spain as one of the best accounts of the Spanish Civil War, is the five-novel cycle known as "The Magic Labyrinth" - never before translated into English. A playwright as well as a novelist, he brings the period alive through vibrant dialogue and a story that navigates the factional intrigues that eventually erupted onto the streets in violence. The protagonist of the first novel is Rafael Lopez Serrador, whose coming of age in Barcelona introduces a cast from all walks of city life - Catalan nationalists, anarchists, Falangists, government ministers and showgirls. Just as central a character is Barcelona itself, lovingly depicted. Rafael's adventures bring him into contact with the forces that were to destroy the Republic and determine the bloody course of the Spanish Civil War.
Masterfully translated by Gerald Martin, author of "Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life", Maz Aub's novel is set to introduce to an English-speaking audience a classic of Spanish and Latin American literature - an account of the Spanish Civil War to compare with Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls".
"MAX AUB (1903-72) was born in Paris to German parents and grew up in Spain, before escaping to France and then Mexico, where he lived from 1942 until his death. He wrote novels, plays and literary criticism, and founded the journal 'Los sesenta' with the poets Jorge Guillen and Rafael Alberrti. GERALD MARTIN teaches literature at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of, amongst other works, 'Journeys through the Labyrinth' and 'Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life'."