This is very much a personal anthology, a reflection of the books on my shelves, my work and the recommendations of friends and colleagues, not necessarily of Spanish classics. There are no stories, for example, by Leopoldo Alas (Clarín), Carmen Laforet, Enrique Vila-Matas or Manuel Rivas, because, much though I love their novels, I have not read any of their short fiction. Revisiting these stories has been hugely enjoyable – like retracing the Spanish strand of my career, from school to the present day.

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