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The Imagined Land

The Imagined Land

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By Eduardo Berti
Translated from the Spanish by Charlotte Coombe

Evoking Calvino & Yan Lianke, Oulipo member Berti paints a classic tragic love story with sumptuous detail in pre-revolutionary China.

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Paperback: 9781941920619
eBook: 9781941920626


"One of the most original and talented novelists writing in Spanish today." —Alberto Manguel

With sensuous imagery and musical cadence, renowned Oulipian Eduardo Berti conjures an exquisite, star-crossed love story in pre-revolutionary China. The desires of a young girl, visited in her dreams by her grandmother's ghost, clash with the strict expectations of her parents, exploring the delicate balance between modernity and tradition, mysticism and memory.

Eduardo Berti (b. 1964) was admitted to the Oulipo in 2014, becoming the group's first Argentinian writer. In 2011 he won the Emecé Prize and the Las Américas Prize for his book The Imagined Land.


Winner of the Las Américas Novel Award 2012
Emecé Novel Award 2011
National Spanish TV's Book of the Year 2012

"One of the best love stories I've read." —Jorge Volpi, author of Season of Ash

"One of the most original and talented novelists writing in Spanish today." —Alberto Manguel

"The reader gets trapped into the charm of an unforgettable, delicate, and intensively moving voice." —Leopoldo Brizuela

"Eduardo Berti tells us a story we will never be able to forget through outstanding prose." —Claudia Piñeiro

"The story revels itself as the secret flower of life trying to find its way through the hardest stones of tradition." —Pedro Mairal

"A genuinely innovative talent." —Paul Bailey, Daily Telegraph

"This fantasy [Agua] by an Argentinian delights in its journey." —Isabel Montgomery, Guardian

"Like switching on a light switch Agua is as utterly simple as it is warmly illuminating...haunting quality...When a character feverishly finds herself abandoning the real world for the one of he dreams we're swept along, intoxicated with her." —Mary Elizabeth Williams, New York Times Book Review

"For 30 years I've been reading publishers' manuscripts and in that time I've only discovered seven writers. Eduardo Berti is the seventh." —Héctor Bianciotti

“Lauded Argentine writer Eduardo Berti turns his talent for enchanted settings and light but meaningful social commentary to the setting of prerevolutionary China. The Imagined Land is the story of a girl and her brother, both of whose loves and longings set them at odds with their family. Reminiscently sweet, Berti portrays young love in all its enchantment.” World Literature Today

Biographical Note

Eduardo Berti was born in Buenos Aires in 1964. He was admitted to the prestigious and influential Oulipo in 2014, becoming the group’s first Argentinian writer. His first work of fiction, Los pájaros was praised by the critics and won a Grant-Award from Cultura Magazine. This was followed by two major novels: Agua and La mujer de Wakefield. The former was translated into French, English and Portuguese, the latter was translated in Japan and France, where it was a finalist in the prestigious Prix Femina for Best Foreign Book. In 1998, Berti moved to Paris where he worked as a cultural journalist, a correspondent for different media outlets and a scriptwriter, and taught courses in writing. In 2002, he published La vida imposible, whose translation into French received the Libralire-Fernando Aguirre Prize. Two years later he published Todos los Funes, with which he won the prestigious Premio Herralde. Hailed as one of the books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement, the work was translated into Korean and French. Berti is also an accomplished translator of authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Gustave Flaubert, and Elizabeth Bowen. In 2011 he won the Emecé Prize and the Las Américas Prize for the Novel with his book Imagined Country. He currently lives in Bordeaux.

Charlotte Coombe is a British translator based in the UK, working from French and Spanish into English. Her translation of Abnousse Shalmani’s Khomeini, Sade and Me (2016) won a PEN Translates award in 2015. After a decade translating creative texts in gastronomy, the arts, travel and tourism, lifestyle, fashion and advertising, her love of literature drew her to literary translation, with a particular focus on women’s writing. Her work has been published by Phaidon, World Editions and online by Palabras Errantes As well as translating literature, she owns the translation agency CMC Translations providing transcreation, proofreading, editing and revising on a daily basis for various private clients and agencies.