Sabía leer el cielo

This unclassifiable and beautiful book narrates the experience of Irish emigrants in England in the second half of the 20th century. An exodus that has never before been described with such lyricism as in this novel. Evocative in both words and images, it tells the story of a man’s journey from the west of Ireland to the camps, to the boxing huts, to the works of England. Until, later, at the end of the century he finds himself alone, with his memories and struggles to find meaning in a life of remoteness, loss and loneliness.

Very successful, since its appearance – as witnessed by the filmI Could Read The Sky, or Mark Knopfler’s song Mighty Man, both based on the book – this is the first time it has been published in Spanish, with translation by Enrique Alda and prologue by John Berger.

Synopsis of Sabía leer el cielo

We know the dishes we will eat from, the glasses we will drink from, and the paintings we will look at on the walls. We know what the view will be through the bedroom window on a clear morning. We know what hawthorn will look like in May and rowanberries in September. We know the smell and the light and the caress of the air. When I was young I had no future and no past. Then I worked. I paved roads, broke concrete, dug under houses and removed mud. I counted shovels, I counted potatoes and I counted bricks. It was the time when I had a past. It was heavy like the blocks that weigh down a boat. Without a past, I would have sunk. I thought I had a future too, but I couldn't see it. It was in the things I picked up and carried and what I was given to do. It was a future that blinked and darkened when I tried to look at it.

Sabía leer el cielo

Author Timothy O’Grady
Cover See cover
Editorial Pepitas de calabaza

Timothy O’Grady

Timothy O'Grady is the author of the award-winning novel Motherland, Light, the memoir On Golf, and the travelogue Divine Magnetic Lands, and is co-author with Kenneth Griffith of Curious Journey: An Oral History of Ireland's Unfinished Revolution.

See all books by the author