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It seems apt to his preoccupations that – as King Xavier I – Marías laid a disputed claim to be King of Redonda, the semi-fictional monarch of an uninhabited Caribbean micro-nation. The supposed monarchy of Redonda goes back to a (probably hoax) claim by the Edwardian fantasy writer MP Shiel and his disciple John Gawsworth, who inherited the crown and whom Marías described approvingly as “poet/drunkard/beggar”. During his “reign”, the spurious aristocratic titles Marías doled out were a way, perhaps, of situating himself in a canon: John Ashbery, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, WG Sebald, AS Byatt, Pierre Bourdieu, Pedro Almodóvar and Jonathan Coe were among those given imaginary duchies.

David Joy is the author of the Edgar nominated novel Where All Light Tends To Go (Putnam, 2015), as well as the novels The Weight Of This World (Putnam, 2017) and The Line That Held Us (Putnam, 2018). He is also the author of the memoir Growing Gills: A Fly Fisherman’s Journey (Bright Mountain Books, 2011), which was a finalist for the Reed Environmental Writing Award and the Ragan Old North State Award.

Joy lives in the North Carolina mountains.