Such Small Hands

Andrés Barba

Published: 1 March 2018
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 112 pages
ISBN: 9781846276750

Other Editions

Printed Paper Cased

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Published: 3 August 2017
Printed Paper Cased, B Format
129x198mm, 112 pages
ISBN: 9781846276439

Ebook Available


Her father died instantly, her mother in the hospital.

She has learned to say this flatly and without emotion, the way she says her name (Marina), her doll's name (also Marina) and her age (seven). Her parents were killed in a car crash and now she lives in the orphanage with the other little girls. But Marina is not like the other little girls.

In the curious, hyperreal, feverishly serious world of childhood, Marina and the girls play games of desire and warfare. The daily rituals of playtime, lunchtime and bedtime are charged with a horror; horror is licked by the dark flames of love. When Marina introduces the girls to Marina the Doll, she sets in motion a chain of events from which there can be no release.

With shades of Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, Guillermo Del Toro and Mariana Enríquez, Such Small Hands is a beautifully controlled tour-de-force, a bedtime story to keep readers awake.

About the author

Image of Andrés Barba

Andrés Barba is a Spanish writer. He has worked as a teacher of Spanish to foreigners at Complutense University in Madrid and now gives writing workshops. He established his reputation with the novel Los hermanos de Katia (2001, made into a film by Mijke de Jong), the book of novellas La recta intención (2002), and the novels Ahora tocad música de baile (2004), Versiones de Teresa (2006, awarded the Torrente Ballester Prize), Las manos pequeñas (2008), Agosto, octubre (2010) and Muerte de un caballo (2010, awarded the Juan March Prize). In collaboration with Javier Montes, he received the Anagrama Essay Prize for La ceremonia del porno (2007). His writing has been translated into eight languages. More about the author


‘[A] very sinister tale... Not to be read before bedtime’



Such Small Hands is a book of layered and intricate beauty, a chasm-like narrative of trauma that keeps deepening and darkening as I reflect on it. It is tender and heart-tearing, sinister and compassionate. It is also one of the most meticulous, vivid accounts of childhood I have ever read’ Megan Hunter

Such Small Hands pulls you all the back into the pagan woods of earliest childhood, that place you were always afraid you would never find your way out of. This slender book is full of magic, malice and troubling enchantmentColin Barrett

Such Small Hands transports us back to the strange, fraught landscape we lose forever on entering adulthood: one of magnified feelings, eerie fixations and blurred boundaries. A dark, deft trip to a zone where desire and frenzy meet’ Rob Doyle

‘Chilling, I am reminded of that quote from Elizabeth Bowen... 'No one can know the extent of the damage caused by young children whispering together,' Such Small Hands is more than just a scary story... This is so much worse’ Susan Hill, author

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