In the middle of the night, a woman awakens to find a stranger in her bedroom. Though she cannot determine who he is--or, indeed, whether he is even real at all and not just an extension of her dreams or her writing--she is drawn into a conversation with her unexpected guest. What she tells him becomes the story of a woman coming of age in the repressive Spain of the Franco era.
In The Back Room Carmen Martín Gaite spins out a hypnotic evocation of one woman's life counterpointed against the social history of modern Spain. The growth of a personal identity and the terrors of fascism are woven together within the delicate fabric of this dreamlike narrative. The result is an intimate and existential confessional--part autobiography, part fiction. In direct and simple language, Martín Gaite envisions life within a world besieged. This, her finest work, explores the back room of memory with a quiet but irresistible power.