La vida contada por un sapiens a un neandertal

Life as Told by a Sapiens to a Neanderthal | Alfaguara/PRH, 2020

The ingenuity of Millás and the wisdom of Arsuaga united to tell life as the best of stories.

«You and I could get together to talk about life; we would create a great story about existence. Should we?», said the writer.
«We should», replied the paleontologist.

For years, the interest in understanding life, its origins, and its evolution has resonated in Juan José Millás’ head, so he set out to discover, along with one of the country’s leading specialists in the field, Juan Luis Arsuaga, why we are the way we are and what has led us to the place we are. In this book, the wisdom of the paleontologist is combined with the wit and surprising outlook that the writer has on life. Because Millás is a Neanderthal (or so he says), and Arsuaga, in his eyes, a sapiens.

Thus, over the course of many months, the two visited different places, many of them common backgrounds of our daily lives, and others, unique locations where you can still see the vestiges of what we were, of the place we came from. During these outings, which may remind the reader of those of Don Quixote and Sancho, the sapiens tried to teach the Neanderthal how to think like a sapiens and, above all, that prehistory is not a thing of the past: the traces of humanity through the millennia can be found anywhere from a cave or landscape to a playground or a stuffed animal store. It is life that beats in this book. The best of stories.