José Donoso: Este domingo (This Sunday)
On one level, this novel is about how boring but also interesting Sundays can be. Àlvaro’s Sundays start when his father takes him to his grandmother’s house as his parents go away for the day. Now, as an adult, he has a nice bourgeois marriage to Chepa. Every Sunday he goes off to get the empanadas from Violeta, as Sundays aren’t Sundays without them. And then he remembers what happened when he was a boy – Violeta, who was his grandmother’s maid, made him empanadas and also introduced him to sex. As in Coronación (Coronation), Donoso writes about the decadence and the sterility of the Chilean bourgeosie and contrasts their lives with the lives of the ordinary people. But Àlvaro will always remembers those Sundays as a child.
First published in Spanish 1966 by Seix Barral
First published in English 1973 by Knopf
Translated by Lorraine O’Grady