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The Beauty of the Earth

and other Albanian tales from the living voice of the people

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Anthology of 106 folk tales that were collected at the beginning of the 20th century, most of them in Albanian villages. Translated as faithfully as possible, they try to respect the stylistic register in which the stories were told. These stories take us back to a mythical and magical universe with notable original features also linked to a mixture of disparate national and foreign traditions, the remains of beliefs and customs of which we have lost all notion. Stories that we also believe, like Italo Calvino, to be true and that open a small window to a world that is geographically close to us and unknown.


In addition to this selection of wonderful stories, you can find in this book, 73 illustrations by Jesús Gabán, which illuminate the stories of these simple people, who call themselves "children of the eagles".


Edited by María E. Roces

Artwork by Jesús Gabán

Collection: Ancients tales

Size: 17x24cm

Pages: 495

Binding: Cardboard

ISBN: 978.84.949242.8.6

  (Price without VAT €28.37)

RRP €29.50 


La voz de Asturias: an interview with María E. Roces on the launching of the book.

Interview on RTVE


Reviews in foreign media


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María E. Roces González

Born in Asturias and graduated in business studies, she lived in Albania, where she was the announcer and editor of Radio Tirana's Spanish broadcasts. She chaired the Spain-Albania Friendship Association and directed its magazine; an association for which she translated stories, movies, folk tales, poems...  and organized tourist trips each summer to that country.

Upon returning to Spain, she dedicated herself to social activism in the responsibility of urban planning, housing and urban rehabilitation, she combined this work with that of a proofreader of literary style and collaborated with Ramón Sánchez Lizarralde on some literary translations.

Since 2011 she has been working as a literary translator for Albanian authors such as Ismaíl Kadaré, Fatos Kongoli, Bashkim Shehu, Rudi Erebara, Namik Dokle, etc. and from a collection of Albanian folk tales. She is also preparing an anthology of legendary Albanian epics.

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Jesús Gabán

He has been illustrating books for children and young adults since 1981. He was a finalist in the Lazarillo Prize for Illustration in 1983, the Apel.les Mestres prize in 1983, and winner of said prize in 2004.

He won the National Prize for Children and Young Adults Illustration in 1984, 1988 and 2000. He was also selected in the White Ravens catalogue in 1987, and won the bronze medal at Art in the Leipzig Book Fair in 1989, the Diploma of Honor and Special Mentions in the Catalonia Prize in 1984, 1990, 1992 and 1997, the International Prize for Illustration of the Santa María Foundation in 1995. CCI Prize Honor List in 1998.

His book Abdul and the Atlas Lion was chosen as one of the One Hundred Best Spanish Children Books of the 20th Century at the VI Symposium on Children and Young Adult Literature organized by the Germán Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation. His books have been published in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, the United States, and Japan.


With Libros de las Malas Compañías he has also illustrated the following titles:

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