University of Nevada, Reno

Basque Literature Series


Series editor Mari Jose Olaziregi. Published by the Center for Basque Studies. To order contact the Center for Basque Studies (775.784.4854) or you may request titles from any major book dealer, who will obtain them on order if they are not in stock.



Two Basque StoriesTwo Basque Stories

by Bernardo Atxaga; translated from Basque by Nere Lete


This sixth volume of the CBS Literature series presents for the first time in English two of the author’s short stories previously published in Euskara, the Basque language, "Two Letters All at Once," in which Old Martin, a Basque immigrant living in Boise, receives two letters from Europe in a period of ten days, and "When a Snake Stares at a Bird."

Bernardo Atxaga broke onto the international scene with the 1988 publication of Obabakoak in Euskara. The novel has been published in 26 languages, including an English edition (Vintage, 1994, Graywolf 2009), and earned the author Spain’s top narrative prize, the Premio Nacional de Narrativa, the Premio Milepages (the Paris Milepages Prize) (1991), the Premio Tres Coronas de los Pirineos Atlánticos (the Atlantic Pyrenees Three Crowns Prize) (1995), among others. That book was praised in The Observer of London as “a brilliant novel, full of life,” and by The New York Times Book Review as a “delicious paella, Baroque and Spanish.” The emotional landscape of Obaba can be described as a virtual infinite where the narrator's memory begins weaving a fabric suggestive of stories, which thread together the meta-narrative reflection with strategies of literature of the fantastic.

In Two Basque Stories, Atxaga turns his attention to complex lives lived in the “rustic” Basque village of Obaba and the creative process of identity. The first short story, “Two Letters All at Once,” tells the story of Old Martin, a former sheepherder consigned to a generic Boise neighborhood. In order to make sense of his life, Martin narrates for an un-understanding grandson the life-altering deception that led him from his native village to the American West. In “When a Snake Stares at a Bird,” a young city-bred boy spending time in his grandfather’s village comes to realize that things he once believed to be simple: nature, animals, and his grandfather, are much more complex than he could have imagined. Evocative illustrations by Antton Olariaga compliment these at once simple and deceptively complex stories. These stories, originally published in Euskara in 1984, cemented the popularity of Atxaga in his homeland.

For more information or to order copies of Two Basque Stories, contact the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.


117 pp., paper (ISBN 978-1-877802-85-0), $19.95.

Red NotebookThe Red Notebook
by Arantxa Urretabizkaia; translated from Basque by Kristin Addis


The Red Notebook belongs to the autobiographical genre and is the author's most ambitious novel, one that has achieved a truly lyrical tone. Although it should be included in the novel-writing tradition that deals with female voice and memory, this novel breaks new ground from a physical and psychological point of view, bringing out the social and political aspects of motherhood. For the protagonist, political committment is an endeavor that can't compare to motherhood and this, in a nutshell, is what the novel emphasizes once and again. Thus, with great skill, Urretabizkaia offers us the confessions of a woman forced to weigh political committment against motherhood.


Paper (ISBN 978-1-877802-82-9), $19.95.

Perfect HappinessPerfect Happiness
by Anjel Lertxundi; translated by Amaia Gabantxo


Perfect Happiness can be described as a realist novella with lyrical overtones. It explores how witnessing a terrorist assassination affects a teenage girl’s life over a span of fourteen years. Against this backdrop Lertxundi explores one of his recurring themes: the relationship between art and death. Perfect Happiness is moral without being didactic, and confessional – as well as natural and fluid – in tone. Confronting its horrific theme with profound existential understanding, it is an eloquent plea for the right to beauty and happiness and the importance of following one’s conscience.


148 pp., paper (ISBN 978-1-877802-74-4), $19.95.

Rossetti's ObsessionRossetti’s Obsession
by Ramon Saizarbitoria; translated from Basque by Madalen Saizarbitoria.


This humorous novel involves an insecure writer’s efforts to retrieve a note he once sent to a woman, which caused her to fall in love with him. He hopes that the note will have the same effect on his new romantic interest. “Rossetti’s Obsession . . . accurately combines the most fragile, irritating, yet touching traits of a man in search of the right role to play in relation to women . . . [A man] who is fearful of failing at love, weak and calculating, and doubtful and puerile in his understanding of the mechanisms of seduction.” (J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip, El País. Babelia, 03/23/2002).

192 pages; paper (ISBN 1-877802-60-3), $19.95.

And the Serpent SaidAnd the Serpent Said to the Woman
by M.L. Oñederra; translated from Basque by Kristin Addis

“This book not only won [Oñederra] the Critics Award, but also captivated many readers in its courageous and risky account of the confessions of a married woman. Revolving around the feelings and experiences written in a diary and divided into the four seasons, a woman in her mid-thirties examines every detail of her life.” (Jury of “Euskadi Prize for Literature in Basque, 2000.”)


136 pages. Hardcover (ISBN 1-877802-59-X), $24.95; paper (ISBN 1-877802-58-1), $19.95.

AnthologyAn Anthology of Basque
Short Stories

compiled by Mari Jose Olaziregi


This compilation of short stories from fourteen contemporary Basque writers provides an excellent introduction to modern Basque literature. The works were translated directly from Basque into English. Includes stories by Bernardo Atxaga, Lourdes Oñederra, Iban Zaldua, among others.


222 pages. Hardcover (ISBN 1-877802-41-7), $24.95; paper (ISBN 1-877802-40-9), $19.95.


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