The Beauty of the Earth

and other Albanian tales from the living voice of the people


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 return us to a mythical and magical universe with notable original features also linked to a mixture of disparate national and foreign traditions, a residue 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 this simple people, who call themselves "children of the eagles".


Edited by Maria E. Roces

Artwork by Jesus Gaban

Collection: Tales  Ancients

Size: 17x24cm

Pages: 495

Binding: cardboard

ISBN: 978.84.949242.8.6

  (Price without VAT €28.37)

RRP €29.50 

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Maria E. Roces Gonzalez

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. He chaired the Spain-Albania Friendship Association and directed its magazine; association for which he 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 proofreader of literary style and collaborated with Ramón Sánchez Lizarralde in some literary translations.

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

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Jesus Gaban

He has been illustrating children's and youth books since 1981. He has been a finalist in the Lazarillo Prize for Illustration in 1983, the Apel.les Mestres prize in 1983 and winner of the same prize in 2004.

He has won the National Prize for Children's and Youth Illustration in 1984, 1988 and 2000. He has also been selected in the White Ravens catalog in 1987, and won the bronze medal at the Leipzig Art in the Book exhibition in 1989, the Diploma of Honor and Special Mentions in the Catalonia Prize in 1984, 1990, 1992 and 1997, International Prize for Illustration of the Santa María Foundation in 1995. CCI Prize Honor List in 1998.

His book Abdul y el lion del Atlas was chosen as one of the One Hundred Best Spanish Children's Books of the 20th Century at the VI Symposium on Children's and Young People's 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.

In Libros de las Malas Compañías he has also illustrated: