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The Self and the Other | Destino, 2013

» Chosen as the Best Book of Short Stories of 2013 by El País’ readers

The self and the Other is a collection of twelve short pieces arranged in the form of an “almanac of stories”. Benítez Reyes offers up one story for each month of the year,  set against the backdrop of events specific to the date in question: January and the Three Wise Men; February and the second batch of sales; March and a belated carnival; April and an unexpected turn of events; May and exams have rolled around; June and Midsummers Night; July and a holiday aboard a cruise liner; August and teenage love in the movie theater; September and military exploits in an intellectual guise; October and the harbingers of doom; November and a performance of Don Juan Tenorio, and, last but not least, December and an ill-timed company dinner.

Each story is tinged with humor and, at the same time, carries a sting in the tail, with the sense of the absurd and of wonder that are the hallmarks of this author’s unique take on the world.