Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Translated by Sonia Soto

With an afterword by the author

An international bestseller and marvel of intense eroticism, The Ages of Lulu is the lurid and compelling story of the sexual awakening of Maria Luisa Ruiz-Poveda y Garcia de la Casa—affectionately known by her family as Lulu.

At just fifteen years old, Lulu, a "round, hungry little girl," finds that her erotic cravings are already powerfully established when she is seduced by a family friend, Pablo, twelve years her senior. This initial encounter incites the violent power play that drives an adult Lulu through a series of increasingly titillating sexual exploits. Always fascinated by the thin line separating decency and morality from perversion, Lulu gains the courage to explore the darker side of her carnal desires—but as her forays become increasingly desperate, the world of illicit and dangerous sex threatens to engulf her completely.

A groundbreaking novel of sexual exploration, The Ages of Lulu sparked international controversy and was an overnight sensation when it was first published in Spain fifteen years ago. It won the Sonrisa Vertical Prize for erotic fiction, and was made into a film starring Javier Bardem. It has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide and is available in over 20 countries. The reissue includes a new prologue by the author.


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“A powerful essay into the darker side of female sexuality.”

“Carnality, intimacy, shame, and curiosity have made a triumph of this book which almost gave me a heart attack when I read it. Disturbing from head to toe.”

“Grandes has artfully set up a provocative tension between prose that is matter-of-fact and a subject thats anything but, and it leads us into profound questions about the nature of sexuality and the morality of pleasure. Deeply disturbing.”

“Luridly Inventive.”


At the age of twenty-nine Almudena Grandes won the Premio La Sonrisa Vertical for Las edades de Lulú (The Ages of Lulu) in 1989. The cinematic adaptation, starring Javier Bardem, was released the following year. Grandes is now one of Spain’s best-selling authors, and her work has been translated into more than twenty languages. A regular commentator, Grandes has written for such publications as the Guardian, El País, and the New Yorker. She lives in Madrid.