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Jordi Coca

Under the Dust

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Exploring a boy's childhood in Barcelona during the Franco dictatorship, Under the Dust is based on the autobiographical experience of prize-winning Catalan author Jordi Coca. In period and location - an oppressive late 1940s and early 50s when the dictatorship's repression was strongly felt at all levels of people's everyday lives - the novel echoes the recent bestseller The Shadow of the Wind. But the affecting closeness of the boy's first-person narrative and its pitiless realism set this book apart. The boy's bewildered responses to his father's violence and authoritarianism are played out at home and in a neighbourhood dominated by street gangs, where politics is never more than a block away. This novel was awarded the Sant Jordi prize in 2000.