Fame doesn’t sit easily with Spain’s most highly regarded contemporary novelist. Though Javier Marías, 60, lives in central Madrid, he has an aversion to computers and mobile phones, placing him in the old-fashioned world of many of his books. And his acidic newspaper columns show him to be deeply unhappy with the world outside his door. But 2011 has been a good year for this prolific author. He published, to great acclaim, Los enamoramientos, a novel exploring love, but also, as the author himself put it, “the inconvenience of the dead coming back to life”. Meanwhile, Penguin has announced that several of his titles will be included on its prestigious Modern Classics roster. “The legacy of Cervantes is increasingly present in Marías’s novels,” declared El Cultural magazine.