Un Amor

by Sara Mesa



A claustrophobic story of desire and small town unease in the vein of Dogville or Coetzee’s Disgrace.

Fleeing from past mistakes, Nat leaves her life in the city for the rural village of La Escapa. She rents a small house from a negligent landlord, adopts a dog and begins to work on her first literary translation. But nothing is easy: the dog is ill tempered and skittish and misunderstandings with her neighbour’s thrum below the surface. When conflict arises over repairs to her house, Nat receives an unusual offer – one that tests her sense of self, challenges her prejudices, and reveals her most unexpected desires. As Nat tries to understand her decision, the community of La Escapa comes together in search of a scapegoat.

Now a feature film, directed by Isabel Coixet.
Selected as the ‘Best Book of 2020’ by El País, La Vanguardia, El Cultural and El Correo. Shortlisted by El Mundo, Forbes, Elle, W Magazine and La Nueva España.

176pp, paperback with flaps, £12.99
Publication date: 4 June 2024

Press & Reviews

‘Sara Mesa’s writing is mysterious and fascinating: her characters brush against the limits in environments of fierce false calm. Un Amor is one of her best novels – tense and beautiful like a crouching bird.’ – Mariana Enríquez, author of Our Share of Night and The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

‘Sara Mesa sees the world through the lens of power, exploring how questions of strength and weakness shape human behaviour.’ – Annie McDermott, The Times Literary Supplement

‘When I read Sara Mesa, I’m there in the Wild West, sifting through the sand. There is a restless enjoyment, an inhospitable beauty, in my sieve. And then something miraculous when gold appears before my eyes.’ – Eva Baltasar, author of Boulder

‘One of the writers of my generation that I admire the most. Sara does not feed the fashionable conversation nor does she care about other people's opinions. Sara's only commitment is to her own, excellent, literature.’ – Manuel Astur, author of Of Saints and Miracles

'The fascination of Mesa's writing is in the closeness of her attention – she attends to all the complex weather of human feeling, allows her characters to go where they will – where, it feels to the reader, they inexorably must, despite the surprise and strangeness of their circumstances. Un Amor is a romance that reads like a thriller, a small-town intrigue that is consuming and essential. Such is the quiet intensity of La Escapa and the novel that inhabits it, the world beyond begins to blur – could almost disappear.’ – Martha Sprackland, author of Citadel and Milk Tooth

About The Book


Published in the UK for the first time by Peirene Press, Sara Mesa is the author of eight works of fiction, including Scar (winner of the Ojo Critico Prize), Four by Four (a finalist for the Herralde Prize), An Invisible Fire (winner of the Premio Málaga de Novela), Among the Hedges, and La Familia. Her works have been translated into eighteen different languages, and she has been widely praised for her concise, sharp writing style.


Katie Whittemore is graduate of the University of NH (BA), Cambridge University (M.Phil), and Middlebury College (MA), and was a 2018 Bread Loaf Translators Conference participant. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming with Two Lines, The Arkansas International, The Common Online, Gulf Coast Magazine Online, The Los Angeles Review, The Brooklyn Rail and InTranslation.