Vampire in Love

Vampire in Love

Enrique Vila-Matas

Translated By

Margaret Jull Costa


Fiction, Short Stories


Paperback with flaps



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Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


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(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789386338822 | 272 pages | April 2017)


Enrique Vila-Matas is widely hailed by his peers and readers as one of the greatest writers of fiction in contemporary Spanish literature. Gathered for the first time in English, and spanning the author’s entire career, Vampire in Love offers a selection of Vila Matas’s finest short stories.

A father summons his son to his deathbed to tell him that he arranged for his wife’s death. An effeminate, hunchbacked barber—known to everyone as Nosferatu—decides to see, one last time, the choirboy he has fallen in love with. A fledgling writer on amphetamines visits the French writer Marguerite Duras’s Paris apartment and watches his dinner companion slip into the abyss. An unsuspecting man receives a mysterious phone call from a lonely ophthalmologist, visits his abandoned villa, and is privy to a secret. And a writer on vacation decides—as a way of paying tribute to the pioneering composer Erik Satie—to reply to nineteen emails without reading them.

The stories in Vampire in Love, brilliantly translated by renowned translator Margaret Jull Costa, are all told with Vila-Matas’s signature erudition and wit and his provocative, relentless questioning of the interrelation of art and life.


Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


‘Vila-Matas’s excellence is an undisputed fact.’
—Roberto Bolaño

‘Highly original, both lucid and ludic.’
The Guardian

‘Tales of surrealist noir in which virtually anything can happen except happiness … An array of outcasts—faded movie stars, ghosts, a sinister nun—[who] indulge in sudden blitzes of drugs, kidnapping, and terrorism when they’re not pondering the meaning of life … The experience of reading Vila-Matas is, for all his apparent pessimism, curiously uplifting …’
The New Yorker

‘[These] tremendously touching characters … who stumble from one place to the next, not really sure where they are going, but always on a quest—are so deeply comical on the one hand, and so deeply poignant on the other, that you just have to give yourself up to it because you're in the hands of a master.’
—Paul Auster

‘Odd stories with a bite: cynical, funny, and often puzzling.’
Kirkus Reviews

‘Playful, highly accessible, and beautifully translated, the stories in Vampire in Love showcase a master writer who is happy to indulge the imagination and explore the possibilities of existence.’
—The Rumpus

‘These stories swerve in unexpected directions… Vila-Matas fills his fiction with forlorn characters, yet never have so many stories about distressed personalities been so incredibly amusing.
Publishers Weekly

‘[A] … work that routinely disrupts and teases the expectations of not just the characters of its pages, but of the readers. [Vila-Matas] equips both with shreds of certainty, wisps of desire, then sends them spinning into a world of blurred categories, strange tempos, multiplying selves, confused identities. His are lands in which everything is contested, and where absences—whether in the form of romantic loss, thwarted hopes, memory, failure or death—are pervasive, patient, often inevitable.’
—The National

‘Rare is a talent with supernatural ability to fuse genre and literary fiction, but Vila-Matas does it effortlessly. Be prepared to have your breath taken away…’

‘With oft-remarkable prose, wit, and more than a little playfulness, Vila-Matas’s short fiction reveals an artisan as comfortable (and as skillful) in brevity as he is in longer form. Vampire in Love ably demonstrates the wide variety of storytelling hues available on Vila-Matas’s literary palette.’
—Three Percent

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About the author

Enrique Vila-Matas

Enrique Vila-Matas, ‘arguably Spain’s most significant contemporary literary figure’ (The New Yorker), was born in Barcelona in 1948. He studied law and journalism before becoming a columnist and film critic. A prolific writer with a fluidic style that frequently blurs the boundaries between fiction, essay and biography, Vila-Matas’s extensive oeuvre includes novels, books of short […]

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