Manuel is growing up in Franco's Spain. He adores his elder sister, Maria, and they are watched over by their mother, who enjoys reciting poetry, and their father, a construction worker with vertigo. Beyond the walls of the house, he encounters chatty hairdressers and priests, wolf hunters and monstrous carnival effigies.
The community is still haunted by the civil war, yet Manuel's world is changing. Coca-Cola opens a factory nearby and news arrives of men landing on the moon. This is a story about family, memory and the experiences that make us who we are.
Manuel Rivas was born in Coruna in 1957, and writes in the Galician language of north-west Spain. He is well known for his journalism, as well as for his prizewinning short stories and novels, which include the internationally acclaimed The Carpenter's Pencil and Books Burn Badly. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.