Nada (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
Sixty years after its original publication in Spain in 1944, Nada has been translated and published in English, bringing not only the coming-of-age story of one young girl but also the story of a country coming out of a civil war and into a fascist regime to a new audience. A longtime classic in Spain, Carmen Laforet’s Nada captured the void, the nothing (nada) that many Spaniards felt under Francisco Franco’s rule in the years immediately following the civil war (1936-1939) and hinted of the artistic revolution that was to occur by paralleling the struggles Spaniards experienced with the pain of an adolescent girl. Twenty-three-year-old Laforet wrote Nada in a style that is simultaneously calming and unnerving, that elicits pity and unease, as she shares the heartbreaking tale of eighteen-year-old protagonist Andrea. Nada begins with Andrea alone at a Barcelona train station after traveling to the city to attend a university. Orphaned as a child, Andrea has moved from relative to relative across Spain and travels to Barcelona to find an education, freedom, and herself. What she does not anticipate finding is a demented and depressing family waiting to welcome her, and potentially destroy her, with their dysfunctional structure.
The family is made up of the maternal grandmother matriarch, “a black-white blotch of a decrepit little old woman,” Andrea’s uncle Juan, whose “face was full of hollows,...
(The entire section is 1692 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2008)
The Guardian, June 23, 2007, p. 16.
Kirkus Reviews 74, no. 23 (December 1, 2006): 1192.
New Statesman 136 (March 5, 2007): 59.
The New York Times Book Review 156 (April 15, 2007): 8.
The Times Literary Supplement, March 16, 2007, p. 21.
The Washington Post, February 18, 2007, p. BW15.
(The entire section is 30 words.)