Written in three parts, The Things We've Seen is a dazzling and anarchic exploration of social relations which offers thought-provoking ideas on our perceptions of humanity, history, violence, art and science. The first part follows a writer who travels to the small, uninhabited island of San Simon, where he witnesses events which impel him on a journey across several continents, chasing the phantoms of nameless people devastated by violence. The second book is narrated by Kurt, the fourth astronaut who secretly accompanied Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins on their mythical first voyage to the moon. Now living in Miami, an ageing Kurt revisits the important chapters of his life: from serving in the Vietnam War to his memory of seeing earth from space. In the third part, a woman embarks on a walking tour of the Normandy coast with the goal of re-enacting, step by step, the memory of another trip taken years before. On her journey along the rugged coastline, she comes across a number of locals, but also thousands of refugees newly arrived on Europe’s shores, whose stories she follows on the TV in her lodgings.
‘A narrative conception that transforms the reality of the past century into a fiction replete with unusual images combining poetry and science, history and politics. A moving structure animated by sporting ambitions, the novel traces out a tragicomic map of our contemporary world.’
— The jury of the Biblioteca Breve Prize 2018
‘The Things We've Seen confirms Fernández Mallo as one of the leading Spanish-language writers today, a master of a style and of a world each absolutely his own.’
— Jorge Carrión, New York Times in Spanish, Top 10 Novels of 2018
‘One of the most significant Spanish novels of the last decade.’
— La Tercera
‘The Things We've Seen is the Galician poet and novelist's most ambitious work to date. A novel of ideas that melds literary forms in order to discuss time, silence, and the itinerant, migrant character of all humankind, not to mention love. A map of the contemporary world.’
— Winston Manrique, WMagazine
‘A gradual weaving together goes on between the triptych that forms the Trilogy, and a point comes at which the poetry of the whole dawns -- erupts -- on the reader. In that moment, the turbid layers of technology and discourse that occlude the past fall from your eyes. Somewhere between archaeologists and technophiliacs, and simultaneously bearers of all of Europe's long past, the characters in The Things We've Seen return from places where time stands still, as though they have been plunged into the void or some place where time simply does not pertain.'