Soledad Puértolas is one of the most distinguished authors of today’s Spain. “On the Road to Houmt Souk” (from Adiós a las novias, Anagrama 2000) combines several themes, motifs and situations that recur throughout the author’s narratives. A chance encounter leads to an epiphany, an experience that both triggers reflection and empowers. Openness to the other—people and cultures—provokes fortuitous engagement that relieves the loneliness of modern, urban life. Travel both instigates and parallels the inner journey. --Francisca González Arias, the translator.