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by Javier Marías
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As often tends to be the case, the NBCC is offering up what may be the most well-rounded fiction shortlist you'll find.
Javier Marías may be the only significant working writer to also be a king. As the sovereign of Redonda, Marías is the honorary monarch. His two-decade reign has nearly entirely consisted of bestowing titles on various artists -- John Ashbery is the Duke of Convexo, for example -- as part of an effort at tongue-in-cheek recognition.
At 9,000 words strong and encompassing 86 titles, this is the only second-half 2013 book preview you will ever need.