Why, Why, Why?


by Quim Monzó

October 15, 2019 
novel | pb | 114 pgs.
5.5" x 8.5" 


A man tries to teach a stone to speak through sheer force of will. An engaged couple makes a pact to never lie, and their union dissolves immediately. Over the course of a phone call, a man learns that his girlfriend died months ago, and that he’s been unknowingly seeing her twin sister. Prince Charming marries Cinderella, but then has an affair with the evil stepsisters. A psychopath's liver explodes after a night of heavy drinking, but instead of killing him, it allows him to be a better drinker.

These, and many more, strange and twisted characters populate the pages of Why, Why, Why?, a delectable brew of dark humor and biting satire on human relationships. In these stories, the characters don’t start falling until they know they’re off the cliff. By then, rock bottom isn’t a long way off. Another stunning entry from Catalan’s greatest contemporary writer, Monzó’s stories dust themselves off and speed on to their next catastrophe.

Translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush

About the Author:

Quim Monzó was born in Barcelona in 1952. He has been awarded the National Award, the City of Barcelona Award, the Prudenci Bertrana Award, the El Temps Award, the Lletra d’Or Prize for the best book of the year, and the Catalan Writers’ Award, and he has been awarded Serra d’Or magazine’s prestigious Critics’ Award four times. He has also translated numerous authors into Catalan, including Truman Capote, J. D. Salinger, and Ernest Hemingway.

About the Translator:

Peter Bush is an award-winning translator who lives in Barcelona. His translations include Juan Goytisolo's Níjar Country, Teresa Solana's A Shortcut to Paradise, Alain Badiou's In Praise of Love, and Josep Pla's The Gray Notebook.


Praise for Why, Why, Why?:

“Today’s best known writer in Catalan. He is also, no exaggeration, one of the world’s great short-story writers.” —The Independent

"Monzó blends verve and precision in these stories while also posing bold philosophical questions." —Kirkus Reviews

“A gifted writer, he draws well on the rich tradition of Spanish surrealism . . . to sustain the lyrical, visionary quality of his imagination.”—New York Times

“Monzó delivers drollery on nearly every page, in observations that are incisive and hilarious and horrifying, often all at once.” —Publishers Weekly

The darkly strange stories in Why, Why, Why? . . . expose the tragic absurdities of human relationships. . . . In tales as cautionary as they are wickedly humorous, Monzo's characters self-destruct, while readers can't help but bear witness, asking themselves: Why?—Samantha Zaboski, Shelf Awareness