Poetic and erotic, El mismo mar de todos los veranos (The Same Sea As Every Summer) was originally published in Spain in 1978, three years after the death of Franco and in the same year that government censorship was abolished. But even in a new era that fostered more liberal attitudes toward divorce, homosexuality, and women’s rights, this novel by Esther Tusquets was controversial. Its feminine view of sexuality–in particular, its depiction of a lesbian relationship–was unprecedented in Spanish fiction. Now its complex moods and rhythms have been caught in an English translation by Margaret E. W. Jones that has won the Kayden National Translation Award.
The disillusioned narrator of The Same Sea As Every Summer is a middle-aged woman whose unhappy life prompts a journey into she past to rediscover a more authentic self. However, events force her to realize that love or trust will inevitably be repaid by betrayal. This pattern assumes various forms in a story that moves forward as well as backward, playing out in Barcelona among the haute bourgeoisie. Richly textured with allusion, The Same Sea As Every Summer is also a commentary on post-Civil War Spanish society by an author who grew up during the repressive Franco regime. Esther Tusquets’s other novels include El amor es un juego solitano (1979) and Para no volver (1985).