Baroja y Nessi, Pío (pēˈō bärōˈhä ē nāsˈsē) [key], 1879–1956, Spanish novelist from the Basque Provinces, member of the group of writers known as the Generation of '98. He left medicine to devote himself to literature and came to be the most popular Spanish novelist of the 20th cent. Of his several trilogies, the most widely read abroad concerns the underworld of Madrid— La lucha por la vida [the struggle for existence] (1904), comprising La busca (tr. The Quest, 1922), Mala hierba (tr. Weeds, 1923), and Aurora roja (tr. Red Dawn, 1924). The longest cycle (22 vol.) has a historical background and is known as Memórias de un hombre de acción [memoirs of a man of action]. Baroja's novels are forceful though loosely constructed, characterized by a spare yet lyrical style and an undercurrent of social discontent.
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