Pedro Feijoo is one of Galicia’s most exciting contemporary authors. Trained as a musician, he has taken part in numerous musical projects and written a survey of the state of Galician music. His story ‘The Viaduct’s Secret’ was published in 2011. But his greatest success came a year later with the publication of the novel Children of the Sea, awarded the Martín Sarmiento and San Clemente Prizes for fiction and shortlisted for the Xerais Prize for best novel. This work was followed by Memory of the Rain in 2013. His novels are set in Galician cities such as Vigo and Santiago de Compostela, contain a heavy dose of adventure and intrigue and are written in a style that is aimed at keeping the reader entertained.
Photograph © Marta Rodés
CHILDREN OF THE SEA synopsis
Children of the Sea (432 pages) is Pedro Feijoo’s first novel. It is divided, like a play, into five acts: Simón; Mariña; Daniel; Aeneas; Troy.
CHILDREN OF THE SEA
‘Good day. Mr Simón Varela, please?’
‘This is Ernest Rovira, personal secretary to the Dafonte-Llobet family.’
My name is Simón, and I am an architect. Yes, I know, neither my name nor my profession are of the greatest importance. But my mother always said manners are everything in this life. My name is Simón. Though it could just as well be Nothing. Given that nobody ever calls me. If I’m not careful, my friends don’t call me either. The two or three I have left. It wasn’t always like this. I was never one of those popular guys who are always the centre of attention, the life and soul of the party, you know. But nor was I a social pariah.
Well, I don’t think I was…
At school, I spent my hours drawing. I used to really get on my art teacher’s nerves because I was always drawing houses with twisted chimneys and colouring them with lines that went beyond the borders of the drawing. And now I’m an architect. I embarked on my degree in Barcelona, at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, in the autumn of 1990. They were ten (yes, ten) very intense years of learning, partying, carousing… But everything must come to an end, everything must finish. By the time the twentieth century had turned into the twenty-first, and the second millennium into the third, I had decided to mark this solemn moment with the opening of my own practice here in Vigo, the city where I was born almost 37 years ago. It didn’t take me long to appreciate that humanity’s great moments are just as transitory, just as vulgar, as any others. By the time I realized, the sense of failure, and above all loneliness, had moved in with me, into a dark corner of my studio. Very few people ever come this way. The odd acquaintance seeking ideas to do up his grandparents’ old place, well-informed heirs looking for an architectural plan with which to try and get round the Coastal Law… Small subsistence projects, little else.
Hardly anybody ever called me, certainly not the personal secretary of one of the most influential families in Vigo. On a Monday, no less.