Falling somewhere between Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Hunting the Last Wild Man tells the story of Candela and her extended family of nine women. Our protagonist has had her disappointments in love and floats from one job to another, ending up at the local mortuary as an apprentice embalmer. There she can tuck herself away from the everyday hubbub of life’s demands. Late one night Candela finds she must work on the father of a gypsy clan, who has left instructions that he must be buried with his cane. Her days are changed forever when she discovers that the cane holds more than just the old man’s wishes. With rich images suggestive of an Almódovar film, with emotional depth and intelligence, Vallvey explores the modern woman’s cynicism, as Candela attempts to integrate an impossibly marvelous stranger into her life.
ANGELA VALLVEY made her reputation in her native Spain as a writer of young adult fiction with the popular The Sentimental Life of Bugs Bunny. She received the Jaén Poetry Award 1998 for her El tamaño del universo (The Size of the Universe). This is her first publication in English. Vallvey lives in Spain.
Hunting the Last Wild Man by Angela Vallvey; translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa