(K. Brent Tomer),
Nevada Days. By Bernardo Atxaga. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa. MacLehose Press; 352 pages; £14.99.
IN THE gambling city of Reno, where red, green and fuchsia neon signs shine like “boiled sweets”, the University of Nevada has a Centre for Basque Studies. Bizarre at first glance, this odd match of place and subject makes sound historical sense. Emigrants from the Basque country left 19th-century Spain to settle in the American West, first as miners, then as shepherds. In 2007 Bernardo Atxaga, the foremost Basque author of his generation, followed in their wake as a writer-in-residence. From that year-long experience he has fashioned a subtle and touching book, offered as fiction but rich in topical allusions. It stands a canyon’s- length away from the stereotypical travelogue of the snobby European scoffing at transatlantic vulgarity and ignorance.
Over 139 short sections,…Continue reading