Global capitalism fails young Barcelona couples in this dynamic debut
“Heartbreaking and hilarious” —New York Times Book Review
What happens when the hopes of a generation are dashed by austerity policies and underemployment? Come On Up is a group portrait of contemporary Barcelona, beaten by the economic crisis and divided by a secessionist movement. Always witty, often absurdist, these stories offer a mesmerizing glimpse into the daily lives of couples, families, and neighbors living the new normal of the 21st century.
A husband seeks revenge on his wife as they stalk author Peter Stamm; an out-of-work bartender fills his empty days by shoving bananas into the tailpipes of parked cars; a mysterious ritual, spied through a neighbor’s window, arouses deadly spirits. Masterfully paced, the eleven mordant stories of Come On Up draw us into an embattled world whose past is unresolved and whose future is uncertain.
Jordi Nopca is the author of two novels and the short story collection Come On Up. Named a “Young Catalan Writer to Watch” by Culture Trip, his books have received the Proa and Documenta Prizes. Nopca is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Time Out Barcelona and Words Without Borders. Based in Barcelona, Nopca is editor of the newspaper Ara and its literary supplement Ara Llegim. Come On Up is his first book of fiction to appear in English.
Documenta Prize Winner
“In Lethem’s witty translation from Catalan, the 11 stories [of Come On Up] are heartbreaking and hilarious, tender and violent.” —New York Times Book Review
“Filled with caustic wit and pointed satire . . . [Come On Up] paints a sympathetic portrait of people trying to adapt to the instability that defines their ‘new normal’.” —World Literature Today
“[Nopca’s] stories skillfully traverse decadence and depravity, splendor and squalor, the tragic and the comic, the boring and the absurd.” —Cleaver Magazine
“Delightfully witty, insightful, and masterfully told.” —Booklist
“These short stories chronicle the romantic, intellectual, and economic frustrations of disparate characters. . . . From intellectual satire to slapstick comedy, [Come On Up] covers plenty of emotional terrain.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Come On Up] movingly illustrate[s] the human shame of financial insecurity, with multidimensional characters that give life to sterile government jobless reports.” —Shelf Awareness
“All of the stories make noise, and some of them really take off.” —Publishers Weekly
“Read these stories for Nopca’s talent at consistently surprising with plots that march relentlessly in unforeseeable directions, and for his astuteness at charging situations with comic tension and leading readers into potent, perplexing spaces that explode unexpectedly.” —El País
“The interplay between immature thirty-somethings, their crazy parents, and their declining grandparents, is at the heart of the book. They each construct the reality that suits them best. Nopca’s portrait of a generation is appealing and well-written.” —La Vanguardia
“Wry yet tender, Jordi Nopca’s stories are a chronicle of the sentimental and existential doubts of Barcelona’s struggling younger generation—just trust me: read them.” —Jordi Puntí, author of Lost Luggage and This Is Not America
“Nopca’s stories, written with clarity and flair, are smart and modern, filled with sharply observed detail. They capture the unease of the times and the flux of contemporary life in Barcelona with wit, wisdom, moments of pure hilarity, and a mixture of sympathy and dark laughter.” —Colm Tóibín, author of Brooklyn and House of Names
“The day will come when there’ll be no need to keep repeating how Nopca’s talent and his corrosive humor have exploded and electrified the literature of Spain: it will be common knowledge.” —Enrique Vila-Matas, author of Bartleby & Co. and Mac’s Problem