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Esther Tusquets: El amor es un juego solitario (Love is a Solitary Game)

The opening of this book is wonderful as Elia, the heroine, now thirty-something, looks back on her childhood, and luxuriates in the adventure stories she read as a child with their stories of exotic jungles and strange animals, though this means she is shunned by the other children. This love for the exotic (and love for apes!) has remained with her into her adult life. The rest of the book is Elia’s love life – her affair with the “simian” poet, Ricardo, and her affair with his lover, Clara, at his behest. The book is simply about this love triangle and Elia’s insecurity but her luxuriating satisfaction in her affairs. There is little plot but Tusquets paints an interesting portrait of a love triangle.

Publishing history

First published in Spanish 1979 by Editorial Lumen
First published in English 1985 by Riverrun Press
Translated by Bruce Penman