HarperVia will publish The Last Dream, the debut collection of short stories by Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar, translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne, on September 24, in print and audiobook formats. Editorial director Juan Mila acquired North American rights from Cecilia Palacios at PRH Spain, with Harvill Secker on board to publish the book in the U.K. Almodóvar is the director of more than 20 feature films, including Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, All About My Mother, Talk to Her, Volver, Pain and Glory, and, most recently, Parallel Mothers.
"This compilation of short stories offers a rare glimpse into the life of one of the most influential and eminent directors working today, presenting a narrative that comes closest to a self-portrait, revealing a wildly inventive and unconventional creative mind,” Mila said in a statement. “Readers and fans alike will gain profound insights as the director vividly recounts and reflects upon his formative, shadowed school years, the profound impact of fiction on his journey, the unpredictable twists of chance, the nuanced artistry of humor, the pitfalls of fame, his unwavering fascination with books, and his daring exploration of diverse narrative genres that have come to define his illustrious filmography.”
The book, composed of 12 “carefully selected stories from his personal writings, covering five decades,” HarperVia said in a statement, “confirms the mastery of a generational talent whose unmistakable vision has gone on to define and overshadow cinema for the past 40 years.” Stories included in the book tackle such topics as the death of Almodóvar’s mother, the tale of retribution that inspired Almodóvar’s 2004 film Bad Education, a “love story between Jesus and Barabbas,” a “film director searching for painkillers on a bank holiday weekend, and a gothic tale centered around a repentant vampire.”
“I’ve been asked to write my autobiography more than once, and I’ve always refused; it’s also been suggested that I let someone else write my biography, but I have always felt somewhat resistant to the idea of a book entirely about me as an individual,” Almodóvar writes in his introduction to the book. “I’ve never kept a diary, and whenever I’ve tried, I’ve never made it to page two; in a sense, then, this book represents something of a paradox. It might be best described as a fragmentary autobiography, incomplete and a little cryptic.”