Biography

Eva Baltasar has published ten volumes of poetry to widespread acclaim. Her debut novel, Permafrost, received the 2018 Premi Llibreter from Catalan booksellers and was shortlisted for France’s 2020 Prix Médicis for Best Foreign Book . It is the first novel in a triptych which aims to explore the universes of three different women in the first person. The author lives in a village near the mountains.

 

Reviews

Pedro Almodóvar

'A powerful and very original author. I would love to adapt Boulder.'

Parul Seghal
New Yorker

‘Over the holidays, I gifted the lapsed readers in my life three novels—all short, recent (allowing my malingering readers to justify them as a kind of “news,” which, of course, they are), and, most important, irresistible [...] Eva Baltasar’s Boulder, translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches, is the most recent of the three—a ragged, sensuous story. Here you will meet a gorgeously untethered woman wondering just what to do with her freedom. A book about new life for a new year.’


Kirkus Reviews, starred review

‘The book is a modern love story – global, queer, existential in its moral hierarchies – but it is also a rumination on those two most ancient of words: lover and mother. A novel that lionizes the desire to be alone even as it recognizes the beauty and grace found within a family.’

Publisher’s Weekly

‘[T]his slim, visceral novel power gains power from its subversive blurring of maternal intuition and its queering of parenthood.’


Europapress

‘The title of the novel is a metaphor for the protagonist, who sees herself as a strong, powerful animal, capable of handling anything, although the author reminds us that mammoths were under threat from being hunted by the humans of the time.’

Pere Antoni Pons

‘One sensationalist way of describing Mammoth would be to call it a ferocious and brutalist version of Thoreau.’


Praise for Eva Baltasar

‘A powerful and very original author. I would love to adapt Boulder.’ Pedro Almodóvar

‘The experience of reading Permafrost is absolutely unforgettable.’ The New York Times

‘Boulder is a sensual, sexy and intense book. Eva Baltasar condenses the sensations and experiences of a dozen novels into just over a hundred pages of vibrant prose. An incisive story of queer love and motherhood, it dissects the dilemmas of trading independence for intimacy.’ Leïla Slimani, member and president of the 2023 International Booker Prize Jury

‘Exquisite, dark and unconventional, Eva Baltasar turns intimacy into a wild adventure.’ Fernanda Melchor

‘Baltasar summons the joyous eroticism of words and reading.’

‘Baltasar handles feelings like radioactive material, like something that kills us and illuminates us.’ Babelia/El País

‘Baltasar is a skilful writer. A Catalan Dorothy Parker. Ironic, relentless. La Repubblica

‘A magma of sensations, doubts and aspirations . A treasure.’ Le Monde

‘A radical novel on themes with little consensus – (homosexuality, refusal of motherhood), ‘Boulder’ is a mineral text, like these isolated rocks in the middle of the landscape.’ L’independant

‘Through such intricate writing the author deftly manages to elevate the idea of a relationship to a force of nature, with the character of Boulder representing the struggle to reconcile a desire to be alone with a desire for company.’ Times Literary Supplement 

‘The language of desire never stops vibrating off the page; Baltasar pans the mundane for gold, and offers those nuggets — these morsels of intimacy — in a way that grips and sates.’ New York Times Book Review

‘Everything has an air of immediacy, and at the same time one has the feeling that between sentence and sentence abysses open, ellipses that expand and ask the imagination of the reader to fill them. Boulder is a work of incandescent, volcanic brevity and density, full of phosphorescent metaphors.’ Núvol

‘A cold but burning lucidity, admirable, in its approach to detail.’ El Cultural

‘Eva Baltasar's is a free unrestrained voice. She describes how you didn't think it could be done.’ La Vanguardia

‘Hers is a poetic subjectivity that looks at the world and discovers that everything that contains us can be looked at for the first time.’ Gabriela Wiener


New York Times

‘The experience of reading Permafrost is utterly unforgettable.’

International Booker Prize judging panel

Boulder is a sensuous, sexy, intense book. Baltasar condenses the sensations and experiences of a dozen more ordinary novels into just over one hundred pages of exhilarating prose. An incisive story of queer love and motherhood that slices open the dilemmas of exchanging independence for intimacy.’


New Internationalist

‘In barely 100 pages, Catalan author and acclaimed poet Eva Baltasar has crafted a gem of a novella: sharp-edged, uncompromising and utterly compelling … Boulder is for everyone: a hard-hitting, incisive triumph.’


Times Literary Supplement

‘Through such intricate writing, in Julia Sanches’s voraciously readable translation, the author deftly manages to elevate the idea of a relationship to a force of nature, with the character of Boulder representing the struggle to reconcile a desire to be alone with a desire for company.’  


The Face

‘Amid sexual trysts and growing tensions, Boulder searches for the mysterious sweet spot between her wants: freedom and connection. Baltasar has an innate talent for stretching the complexities of queer lives and predicaments into undulating adventure and tension.’


New York Times Book Review

‘The language of desire never stops vibrating off the page; Baltasar pans the mundane for gold, and offers those nuggets – these morsels of intimacy – in a way that grips and sates.’


Words Without Borders

‘Eva Baltasar’s Boulder deftly demonstrates fiction’s ability to elide the passage of time. . . . a thoroughly compelling work.’


Publisher’s Weekly

‘This slim, visceral novel power gains power from its subversive blurring of maternal intuition and its queering of parenthood.’


Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The book is a modern love story – global, queer, existential in its moral hierarchies – but it is also a rumination on those two most ancient of words: lover and mother. A novel that lionizes the desire to be alone even as it recognises the beauty and grace found within a family.’

Fernanda Melchor

‘Exquisite, dark and unconventional, Eva Baltasar turns intimacy into a wild adventure.’

Valencia Plaza

‘Baltasar returns with the same expressiveness and lyricism as in Permafrost, but with a new complexity in her characters, addressing such vital issues such as motherhood and our increasing inability to communicate with one another – an epidemic in our era.’


Zenda libros

‘In her second novel, Baltasar continues to work on her approach to the body, seen as the very substance of storytelling. Around bodies, considered both as sexual objects and as the medium through which our feelings must be expressed, she is building anew a language by which human beings may, in our era, be able to approach one another.’


Booksellers love Boulder

‘Again it manages to be incredibly powerful and pack so much punch into such a slim volume. Absolutely wonderful.’ David Coates, Blackwells Manchester

‘If you like lyrical slice-of-life prose and a melancholic look at relationships, I cannot recommend Boulder enough!’ Red Newsom, Blackwells Manchester

‘So, Boulder is going straight to the pile of my favourite books of 2022 ’ Giulia Lenti, Foyles CXR

‘God, I love Eva Baltasar’s writing. Boulder is another masterpiece from one of Europe’s most radical queer writers. I continue to be a Julia Sanches stan.’ Gary Perry, Foyles CXR

‘This is a tender, unflinchingly honest examination of a woman’s desires as she grapples with the challenges and obligations of partnership and motherhood, juxtaposed against her longing for personal freedom. It’s clear that Baltasar is first and foremost a poet – every sentence is fluid and beautifully crafted (and impressively translated by Julia Sanches), to create a gorgeously sensuous and evocative reading experience.’ Nichole Gadras, Mr Bs


Rain Taxi

‘Boulders have a way of making landscapes both formidable and absurd—and Baltasar delves into this uneasy balance in Boulder, her idiosyncratic portrait of displacement across cultures and across dispositions.’


Pop Matters

‘As queer in style as it is in content, Boulder is a superb follow-up to Baltasar’s debut and will leave readers craving more of her exquisite storytelling.’


Libros y Literatura

‘Eva Baltasar amazed me last year [with Permafrost], and my conversion has been now been completed.’


El Periódico

‘Opposed to all family ties, and jealous of her partner’s child, our narrator refuses to resign herself to her new role of secondary character in her own story, and lashes out by drinking and engaging in clandestine sex with other women, much as would a character in a Charles Bukowski story (an author with whom Baltasar shares more than one stylistic affinity). With Boulder, Eva Baltasar goes beyond Permafrost, to the point that, as with Gillian Flynn's antiheroines, or the anti-superheroine Jessica Jones, the new femininity evokes the old masculinity.’


Nuvol

‘Boulder’s action spans more than eight years, but the reader never feels the passage of that time . . . Everything here has an air of immediacy, yet at the same time one has the feeling that there are abysses yawning between every short sentence, ellipses that expand and beg to be filled in by the reader’s own imagination. Boulder is a work of incandescent, volcanic brevity and density.’

Amina Cain  

Reading Eva Baltasar's Permafrost is like having a rug continuously pulled out from under you until finally the rug disappears. How can a novel that orbits suicide be so surprising, so intensely liberating and funny, and at the same time, so full of grief? That is its genius.

Catherine Lacey

Permafrost is a discomfiting book about a sensual intoxication with life that just barely contains the desire for it to be over and done with forever. Like a perfect song, Eva Baltasar’s words, as translated by Julia Sanches, have a sheen and inevitability that I won’t soon forget. It held me in a trance.’

Maryse Meijer

‘Calling to mind the work of Herve Guibert and Olivia Laing, Permafrost is an iron fist swathed in velvet, a book at once inviting and intimidating, lush and severe, enormously witty, thoroughly intelligent, and devastatingly emotional. It is a text that trusts the wisdom of the body, finding pleasure everywhere—even in suicide, death, and disaster; this is the most weirdly uplifting book I have read in years, perhaps because it holds at its core such affection for all the nuances of being.  Seamless, delicious, and nothing short of genius, Baltasar’s fiction debut gives us “the whole crush of humanity[…] concentrated in a place that is absolutely personal.”’

Rebecca Tamás

‘An explosively witty, intense novel about freedom, desire and the body — Baltasar's voice is as bracing and sharp as cold mountain air, and her queer exploration of being and intimacy is intoxicating. Raw, fresh and uncompromising new writing.’

Imma Monsó
La Vanguardia - La risa

‘Released from my annual dose of Bernhard, I usually feel a need for more and I usually do not have anything dark enough to hand. But this time I did - Permafrost by Eva Baltasar.’

Katharina Volckmer

‘A novel about the beauty of love, sex and suicide, it strikes the perfect balance between passion, a dark sense of humour and tenderness.’

David Coates
Blackwells

Bloody hell! It might be short but this book packed one hell of a punch! Dark, twisted and very funny with an ending that genuinely floored me – incredible!’

Anton Bogomazov
Politics and Prose

‘I don't think I've ever read a book that felt so much like the inside of my brain. Every other sentence I wanted to yell “fuck yeah”. Gay sex and death, that's apparently all my brain needs. I read this one in one sitting and absolutely loved it.’

Annie Metcalf
Magers and Quinn

‘The narrator of Permafrost is sapphic, smart, and suicidal. In a slightly achronological confession, she recounts her childhood, peripatetic sexual history, and frustratingly normal family life, all interspersed with tragicomic suicide attempt-attempts. (She never quite gets to the attempt part, often for aesthetic reasons.) An addictive character study with an ending that hits like a mack truck, Permafrost is a little gem, another maddening example of how possibly the best novelists out there are poets. Includes an excellent and illuminating translator’s note.’

Brett Gregory
Two Dollar Radio

‘The narrator interprets the world around her with such dark humour and fire and dread for life. I couldn't put it down. Poetic, edgy, introspective page turner. Tamara Faith Berger meets Yelena Moskovich.’

Doug Riggs
Bank Square Books

‘Baltasar's debut novel, after ten collections of poetry, has a razor-sharp wit and an observational eye that picks apart life’s abundant absurdities. The title Permafrost, a manifestation of the protagonist's disdain for contemporary society and the coping mechanisms we all use to tamp down the intensity of life, is at the same time a shield and a sword. Marginalised by her sexuality, her introversion, her lack of interest in work, the protagonist consistently wards lovers and family away while at the same time savaging them with a wry, stream-of-consciousness narration. Sanches’s translation effectively reproduces the lyricism inherent in every sentence and maintains the black humour and inescapable fatalism of the original Catalan. This is a remarkable debut and proof positive that poets make the best novelists.’

Heidi Zhang
The Dial Bookshop

‘Unremittingly lucid yet delightfully deranged, Eva Baltasar's impeccable narrative voice will take you on a fast ride where, as the plot twists and her sharp remarks recede from your peripheral vision, you remain keenly aware of, and reassured by, the warmth radiating from the palm of the hand she places on your knee.’

Emma Ramadan
Riffraff

‘A lush and deeply incisive novel about what it means to love and to live as a woman that could only have been written by a poet as piercing as Eva Baltasar, and translated by her perfect match Julia Sanches.’

Rachel Schneck
Harvard Book Store

‘This book spoke to my battered gay heart and also there's a sentence where she describes someone's nose as being “tight as a gymnast's ass” and I haven't been able to stop thinking about that.’

Luis Correa
Avid Bookshop

‘The young, gay narrator of Permafrost is directionless, unmotivated, self-absorbed — surprisingly, however, that mix delivers a sharp, revitalizing shock to the system that compelled me to the end. Each short chapter is brilliantly translated by Julia Sanches in a way that makes Baltasar's background in poetry ring clearly. Reading this, I felt shades of The Bell Jar in the narrative, of Bluets in its profundity, and Bartleby the Scrivener in its bold spirit.’

Brad Johnson
East Bay Booksellers

‘There is a refreshing breathlessness to Eva Baltasar's Permafrost, as though the container of words is never quite enough. I say refreshing because in the most truthful cases, when we're talking about sex and self and the ruddy intertwining between them, words aren't enough! Baltasar's book will be a bookseller's delight.’

Stephen Sparks
Point Reyes Books

'Eva Baltasar's Permafrost, translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches, is a mordant novel that takes the demands of the body seriously. Sex, death, piss, and illness run throughout this unrepentant monologue, all pointing to a truth of our condition that many polite writers steer safely clear of, but one that tells us just what it is to be a human in an ill-fitting world.'

Anna Claire Weber
White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh

‘And Other Stories has given Permafrost a brilliant comp: Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation) meets Virginie Despentes (Vernon Subutex, King Kong Theory). This is poet Eva Baltasar’s first novel, in a brilliant translation by Julia Sanches.’  

Jen Steele
Boswell Book Company

‘Narrated by a young woman who’s fixed on suicide, past loves, family, and everything in between. Trying to find her way in life, our protagonist moves to Scotland where she becomes an au pair, reads all day, and starts to hate the colour green. Next, she tries her hand at teaching Spanish to businesspeople in Brussels and has a love affair with her client that she must put a stop to once marriage is proposed. I've never read anything like this. Permafrost is sharp, poetic, philosophical, and raw, with many fleeting moments. Eva Baltasar breathes a memorable and discerning character to life!’


Le Monde

‘A magma of sensations, doubts and aspirations. A trove of treasures. The piquancy of this novel, a surprise word-of-mouth hit in Spain, comes from the gap between the fantasies projected onto the narrator by the women around her––who see in her a free and contented woman––and the suffocating feeling constricting her. ’


La Vanguardia

‘Eva Baltasar debuts as a novelist with a high voltage book about the self, the body, sex and the family. One of the books of the year.’


Time Out 

‘The discovery of the year’


ABC

‘Breathtaking, intense, poetic.’


El Mundo/El Cultural

‘A cold but fiery lucidity, admirable, in its approach to detail.’


Babelia/El País

‘Baltasar handles feelings as radioactive material, that is, as something that kills and illuminates us.’


La Vanguardia

‘Baltasar describes how you didn't think it could be done. It surpasses everything. One of the best books of the year’


El Periódico

‘Without doubt, one of the most memorable protagonists of contemporary Catalan narrative.’


La Repubblica

‘A Catalan Dorothy Parker. Ironic, implacable.’


La Stampa

‘An investigation of the body as an instrument for measuring pain and desire. A besieged, solemn and majestically painful body, which ideally embraces all of humanity.’


El País

‘A new voice. Courageous and audacious. Baltasar's style is astonishing.’


Clarín

‘Baltasar’s is a strong debut.’


Nuvol.com

‘Intimate, beautiful, ironic and surprising.’

Eva Piquer
Ara Llegim

‘An electrifying writing and a personal, raw and lucid gaze. It convinces.’

Luna Miguel
Playground

‘Read until you come or read until you cry. That's what happens when you encounter the frozen casing of Permafrost. Ice, not because it is cold, but because it cracks.’

Jenn Díaz
El Periódico

‘Eva Baltasar performs an exercise in honesty with this protagonist, who does not beat about the bush and talks – talks to us – without half measures, without filters, without conventions. Perhaps that honesty has been responsible for the success of the novel, which has recently won the Premi Llibreter. This is the power of a voice without scorn, without regrets, that narrates its own introspection.’

Julià Guillamon
Culturas

‘Permafrost by Eva Baltasar is one of the revelatory books of this season . . . I had never read a book in Catalan about sex, seen from the perspective of a woman, such as Permafrost.’

Jordi Benavente
La lanza

‘I came to Permafrost because it was recommended by everyone. And now I have devoured it, I also recommend it to you.’

Marc Reig
A book a day

‘We talk about literature in capitals . . . This is a story that, in the search for reasons to end a life, allows us to find those reasons for which it is worth continuing to live, day by day, even if it is to be able to continue fantasizing about death, or even about life.’

Extraordinary books straight to your door.

Print and ebook subcriptions available.
Spoil yourself or send them as a gift.

And Other Emails

Built by CHOPS.
Login
New customer?

Register to purchase books, subscriptions or post comments on our reading groups.

Register
Close