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Physical Education
Original title: La educación física

Physical Education

Original title: La educación física

A woman's greatest battles are fought with her own body

One afternoon at the end of August, Catalina, who has just turned sixteen, leaves her best friend’s house on a suburban housing estate after an unpleasant accident. When she reaches the road, she decides that the only way to get back to her place is to hitchhike. Like any young woman her age, she’s terrified of getting into a stranger’s car, but not nearly as terrified as what she imagines she’s in for if she doesn’t abide by the strict curfew imposed by her parents.

Set in the early 1990s, Physical Education draws the portrait of an adolescent marked by a complicated relationship with her own body, and a resentment towards a world that is determined to make her feel guilty for being a woman, thus highlighting the stories on which the values of an entire generation are built.

Rosario Villajos has produced a literary and artistic oeuvre that focuses on the body, and with this magnificent novel, she brings the sentimental education with which Flaubert portrayed the lives and times of the young bourgeois in the 19th century to the field of the physical, writing of how the body is the field on which all of our battles are fought, where who we are is settled, and also where the fears, tensions and violence of each era are reflected.

Highlights Physical Education


Biblioteca Breve Award 2023.


A dazzling story about a young woman that is exposed to the most universal battle field: female body.

“The jury of the Biblioteca Breve Award 2023 has selected Physical Education, a novel that unanimously won over those on the jury, due to its narrative voice that explores its own identity through the body and that, in doing so, captures the feelings of a generation and turns it into an experience that is both unique and universal.”
Jury of the Biblioteca Breve Award 2023

“The young girl forges her personal rebellion against the world through the struggle not to give up her own freedom: freedom of movement, freedom to be and to show herself as she is, even if that means taking risks.”
La Vanguardia

Rights sold

Ugo Guanda (Italy), sold in pre-empt; Alpina (Russia).

Technical data

Publishing date: | 304 pages | ISBN: 978-84-322-4296-0 | Imprint: Seix Barral