Belén Gopegui was born in Madrid, where she studied law and later worked as a newspaper columnist. Her first novel, La escala de los mapas, won the Tigre Juan prize and the Iberoamericano Santiago del Nuevo Extremo prize for first novels. Sergio Prim, the novel’s narrator and protagonist, is a geographer by trade with a broken radar when it comes to navigating human relationships. He is thrown into a psychological crisis by the romantic advances of Brezo Varela, a fellow geographer, and reacts by immersing himself in an obsessive metaphysical quest: mapping the route to a place where love never results in disillusionment. The novel is a mercilessly revealing examination of a meager and fearful life challenged by desire. La escala de los mapas established Gopegui as one of Spain’s outstanding novelists, a judgment that her six subsequent novels have only served to confirm. Gopegui also writes screenplays.