'Perhaps that moment had been exceptional, but still, I felt alive. That pressure on my chest means being alive.'
Forty-nine, with a kind face, no serious ailments (apart from varicose veins on his ankles), a good salary and three moody children, widowed accountant Martin Santome is about to retire. He assumes he'll take up gardening, or the guitar, or whatever retired people do. What he least expects is to fall passionately in love with his shy young employee Laura Avellaneda. As they embark upon an affair, happy and irresponsible, Martin begins to feel the weight of his quiet existence lift - until, out of nowhere, their joy is cut short.
The intimate, heartbreaking diary of an ordinary man who is reborn when he falls in love one final time, this beloved Latin American novel has been translated into twenty languages and sold millions of copies worldwide, and is now published in Penguin Classics for the first time.
Mario Benedetti was a Uruguayan journalist, novelist, and poet, regarded as an integral member of the Generacion del 45. He is considered one of Latin America's most important writers from the latter half of the 20th century, especially in the Spanish-speaking literary world.