A masterpiece of metafiction, Mac and His Problem is Enrique Vila-Matas’s testament to the power and playfulness of great literature. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Sophie Hughes.

Mac is not writing a novel. He is writing a diary no one will read. Aged over 60, Mac is a beginner, a novice, an apprentice delighted by the themes of repetition and falsification, humbly armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of literature. Soon, Mac begins to notice that life is exhibiting strange literary overtones and imitating fragments of plot. As he sizzles in the Barcelona heatwave, he becomes ever more immersed in literature, haunted by death but alive with the pleasure of writing.


The 2020 International Booker Prize
Published by
Harvill Secker
Publication date
Enrique Vila-Matas

Enrique Vila-Matas

About the Author

Enrique Vila-Matas is widely considered to be one of Spain's most important contemporary novelists.
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Margaret Jull Costa

About the Translator

Margaret Elisabeth Jull Costa has translated the works of many Spanish and Portuguese writers. In 2014, she was awarded an OBE for services to literature.
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Sophie Hughes

Sophie Hughes

About the Translator

Sophie Hughes was born in Chertsey, UK. She is a literary translator from Spanish. 
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