A 35-year-old rebel of sorts with media-star status in her native Spain, Etxebarria follows up Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes (Beatriz and the Celestial Bodies, Destino, 2001) winner of the prestigious Premio Nadal in 1998 with another award winner. This time she claimed both the Espasa Calpe and Ambito Cultural's Spring prizes. Typical of her previous works, which were often controversial, Etxebarria's latest novel features an attractive film director, Ruth, who is romantically involved with a much younger writer who uses sex and drugs to escape her reality. The novel commences with Ruth's overdose and second suicide attempt and develops in Madrid amid hip movie stars, neurotic individuals, and dishonest members of the media. Once again, Etxebarria hooks the reader from the first line, giving her characters great psychological depth as she places loneliness, depression, self-destruction, passion, and psychological abuse at center stage. This is another good read by a talented writer. Recommended for public libraries and bookstores. [For a critique of Etxebarria's first work of poetry, see the review of Estacion de infierno, p. 48. Ed.] Tatiana de la Tierra, SUNY at Buffalo Lib. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.