An exile returns to Spain from France to find that he is repelled by the fascism of Franco’s Spain and drawn to the world of Muslim culture. In this novel, Juan Goytisolo, one of Spain’s most celebrated novelists, speaks for a generation of Spaniards who were small children during the Spanish Civil War, grew up under a stifling dictatorship, and, in many cases, emigrated in desperation from their dying country.
Upon his return, the narrator confronts the most controversial political, religious, social, and sexual issues of our time with ferocious energy and elegant prose. Torn between the Islamic and European worlds around him, he finds both ultimately unsatisfactory. In the end, only displacement survives.