The Tenant and the Motive are two darkly humorous novellas from the award-winning author of Soldiers of Salamis. Written with the lightest of touches and layered with sardonic wit, they are masterpieces of understatement that linger long in the memory. The Tenent is a mischievous take on the American campus novel, delivering Kafkaesque twists on a theme of academic rivalry and backstabbing. Out jogging one day visiting linguistics professor, Mario Rota, twists his ankle and from then on his life starts to unravel. A rival professor appears at the university, takes over his classes and bewitches his girlfriend. Where will Rota's nightmare end? More important, where did it begin? The Motive is a perfectly judged satire about a writer who takes literature much more seriously than he does life. Alvaro becomes obsessed with finding the ideal inspiration for his novel. First he begins spying on his neighbours, then he starts leading them on. The result is a reversal of the usual maxim that art follows life, with dire consequences for those around him, not least himself.
Used availability for Javier Cercas's The Motive and the Tenant
May 2005 : UK Hardback
May 2006 : UK Paperback
May 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition