In Two Basque Stories, Atxaga turns his attention to complex lives lived in the "rustic" Basque village of Obaba and the creative process of identity. The first short story, "Two Letters All at Once," tells the story of Old Martin, a former sheepherder consigned to a generic Boise neighborhood. In order to make sense of his life, Martin narrates for an un-understanding grandson the life-altering deception that led him from his native village to the American West. In "When a Snake Stares at a Bird," a young city-bred boy spending time in his grandfather's village comes to realize that things he once believed to be simple: nature, animals, and his grandfather, are much more complex than he could have imagined. Evocative illustrations by Antton Olariaga compliment these at once simple and deceptively complex stories.
August 2009 : USA Paperback