Juan Jose Millas
Juan Jose Millas at the Madrid Book Fair, 2008
Picture by Miguel A. Monjas

Millas was born in Valencia in 1946, but moved with his family to Madrid in 1952. He attended the Colegio Claret, and completed his pre-university studies in the Instituto Ramiro de Maeztu. At the end of the sixties, he commenced studying for an arts degree in pure philosophy, but dropped out in the third semester. He has worked as a puppeteer, a teacher, a temporary in the Postal Savings Bank, and in the press office of Iberia.

In 1974 he published his first novel The brain and the shadows, which won him the Premio Sesamo.

Initially influenced by Dostoevsky and Kafka, his work is populated by ordinary people who suddenly find themselves immersed in extraordinary situations, which frequently border on the fantastic: disappearances, parallel worlds, and terrible anxieties which can lead to madness, depression, crime, death.

At the start of the nineties, he began working as an article writer for the newspaper El Pais, and for other media. Today it is difficult to say which of these two careers, writer and journalist, is at the forefront, given that in both activities he is one of Spain’s most loved and admired penmen of today, by both native and foreign readers.

His objective is always to show both sides of the matter, the true and the false. His thinking, presented through humour, paradox and irony, ends up captivating our attention, leading us to a final destination that offers a lucid vision of reality. Millas demonstrates a body of work in permanent search of the most subtle forms through which to articulate the real with the unreal, striving to represent reality in the most efficient manner possible, revealing its hidden mechanics and gifting them with a meaning that they were lacking.

www.escritores.org (translated by Bernard Jones)
Nothing is more familiar than a novel of Juan Jose Millas. Nothing, at the same time, is more full of surprises, of tension,of unusual events, of absurd situations that get intertwined with an implacable logic: the logic of chaos, the nostalgia for a lost sense of unity, the catastrophic necessity of living in an apocalypse.

Sometimes, something as routine as a chance encounter during a journey on the metro can turn itself into the start of an obsession capable of giving a new reason for living. This is what happens to Judge Elena Rincon, a of the best female creations of Juan Jose Millas in the course of a literary career in which there is an abundance of unforgettable women. Don’t Look Under The Bed is a novel about the symmetry and mismatching of couples and of the universal search for company and affection.

And, as usual with this author, about the other reality that is to be seen between the folds of what we believe to be indubitable certainties.


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