White Blackbird, Black Swan
Original title: Mirlo blanco, cisne negro

White Blackbird, Black Swan

Original title: Mirlo blanco, cisne negro

In 2008, a young author, Alejandro Ballesteros, trying to make his way on the literary scene, meets the famous but disgraced writer Octavio Saldaña and his wife at a party. At her insistence the older writer reads the book that the young man has just published and is soon extravagant in his praise of both the work and the man. Disenchanted by literature and the literary scene, Saldaña has a radio programme but hasn’t published anything for a long time. Little by little a relationship builds between the two authors: the young man is keen to learn from the master while the older one enjoys having a protégé. When the young author finishes the novel he’s just written and gives it to the older one to read, a tumultuous story ensues in which each of their wives will have important roles to play: the younger writer is fascinated by the older woman, while his girlfriend, a flight attendant, tries to keep her feet on the ground. Suddenly, a third woman appears: a poet who once had an affair with the maestro. Lurking in the background behind all these events are Ballesteros and Saldaña’s editors.    

Highlights White Blackbird, Black Swan


Prada’s most personal novel, a settling of accounts with himself and the literary world.


A comprehensive, fascinating examination of the literary world and contemporary writing.


A pitiless critique full of satire and humour.

Two very attractive main characters: an experienced writer and a young author whose career is just about to take off.  

Option publishers

Seuil (France)

Technical data

Publishing date: | 440 pages | ISBN: 978-84-670-4838-4 | Imprint: Espasa

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