In 2010, a novel by Eduardo Mendoza called Riña de gatos: Madrid 1936 won Spain’s prestigious Premio Planeta and in January 2011, I reviewed it on this blog. It’s quite a fun novel, and I rather enjoyed it, mostly thanks to Mendoza’s imaginative recreation of a slightly daffy Englishman’s perspective on the all-too-familiar events of the titular time and place. Ever since, one of the most popular web searches landing people on this blog has been mendoza + rina de gatos + english translation. In fact, the title of the novel itself is the third most popular search of all time (after ‘Books on Spain’ and ‘Julia Navarro’, in case you were wondering). Evidently, Mendoza has lots of frustrated potential readers out there, and I have always felt a bit sad for them. But the frustration is over! The independent publisher Maclehose Press, which specialises in translated fiction, has just released An Englishman in Madrid, in a new translation by the wonderful Nick Caistor. I haven’t read it yet, but Rod Younger has, and you can read his review over at Books4Spain (and maybe be in time to win a free copy…). You can also sample substantial chunks of the book online, including at both Amazon and Google Books.
Remember Spain’s mega-blockbuster El tiempo entre costuras? Of course you do. It’s been inescapable in Spain for the last couple of years. I even reviewed the English translation over at Books4Spain, although I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the TV series yet. And its author, María Dueñas, hasn’t been slacking. Her second novel Misión olvido (Mission: Oblivion) is released today, and various excerpts have been released to tantalise us. It’s definitely worth a look, even if the comments over at El País suggest the inevitable backlash is in full swing. So far, I’ve found:
So, what’s it like? Well, I’ve read both extracts, and I’m intrigued, not least because on the strength of this extract at least, it sounds very autobiographical. Dueñas, of course, is a Professor of English at the Universidad de Murcia, and has been on sabbatical in the US for the last couple of years. All being well, I’ll be off to the US myself next spring for a couple of months, to work on the Edwardians book and visit some Spanish community archives, so I might just pop Misión into my suitcase as inspiration. Or not … depending on how the protagonist’s trip turns out.
Sir Albert was a precocious and visionary Hispanist who during his tenure as Gilmour Chair of Spanish (1953-62) transformed the department’s longstanding journal, the Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, into one of the profession’s journals of record. A Golden Age specialist who worked above all on the 17th-century dramatist Calderón de la Barca, he was appointed to the University of Liverpool’s Gilmour Chair at just 32, after six years as Reader and Head of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. He stayed just nine years, before he was snapped up by the University of Essex, where he became inaugural Vice Chancellor and is now probably best known to Essex students as the dedicatee of the University Library.
I have just seen the very sad news that the ground-breaking writer and publisher Esther Tusquets has died in Barcelona at the age of 75.
Tusquets was born a month after the start of the Spanish Civil War, and her earliest memories, as recounted in her first volume of autobiography Habíamos ganado la guerra (We had won the war, 2007), were of a comfortable childhood within the cloistered Franco-supporting Catalan bourgeoisie. Leaving the Francoist expectations of women and their role behind, she would become a huge figure in modern Spanish literature, both as director for some forty years of the publishing house Lumen, and as a novelist and memoirist in her own right – although she did not make her debut as a writer until she was in her forties. She became a darling of Anglo-American feminist Hispanism in the 1980s, largely thanks to the lyrical, experimental and hugely challenging trilogy of novels known as La trilogía del mar (The Sea Trilogy, 1978-1980): El mismo mar de todos los veranos (The Same Sea as Every Summer, 1978), El amor es un juego solitario (Love is a Solitary Game, 1979), and Varada tras el último naufragio (Shipwrecked After the Final Storm, 1980).
Every student of contemporary Spanish literature will have their own memories of encountering these wonderful, difficult, frustrating novels, in which – in a dramatic inversion of everything then current in Spanish writing – women’s language, women’s desire, women’s bodies, women’s love for other women – are placed at the centre of the literary universe. In my own case, picking up my dog-eared copy of El mismo mar de todos los veranos, I can see from the frustrated pencil slashes and dots how much I was challenged by Tusquets’s characteristic, flowing language and sentence structure – pages, pages, pages without a full stop or a paragraph break – and how much I struggled to make sense of it on that first reading. But – BUT – when the penny dropped, and I let myself be carried along in the flow, it was a transcendental moment, and I never looked back.
If you haven’t (yet) read Tusquets, do. Seriously, it’s summer, the air is warm, the nights are long, it’s the perfect time. And if you don’t read Spanish, here’s the link to the U Nebraska Press page for Margaret EW Jones’s 1990 translation of El mismo mar… to start you off.
More: El País Cultura; La Vanguardia; ABC; El Mundo. And here’s Tusquets herself, interviewed on Canal Sur about her 2009 book, Confesiones de una vieja dama indignada (Confessions of an indignant old lady):
So as you know, I’m interested in bestsellers, especially (but not only) in their Spanish incarnation. In fact, I have a whole blog category about them. But the problem with bestsellers is that they tend to be really, really long and, as last spring’s reading marathon showed, they seem to be getting longer all the time. What this means, of course, is that the busy reader looks at the row of recently-acquired brick-sized bestsellers on the TBR shelf, gulps, sighs, turns around, and picks up the beloved Kindle again, swearing to get some wrist weights and build up those biceps ready to take on the super-tomes at some unspecified time in the future.
Or is that just me?
But, last week I went on a Proper Holiday (to Lanzarote, since you ask, and very sunny and cultural it was too) and so, knowing that my primary objectives for the week were 1) swimming, 2) reading, 3) eating fish, 4) swimming, and 5) reading, I thought, why not?, and popped one of the TBR shelf’s most senior residents into my suitcase. La Catedral del mar, a first novel by the Catalan lawyer Ildefonso Falcones, was published back in 2006 and made its first appearance on this blog’s TBR list back in October 2010 (I know, I know…). I read the Spanish edition, but the novel is also available in an English translation by Nick Caistor, as The Cathedral of the Sea (2009).
As we can tell by the fulsome quote from Qué Leer on the back cover of my edition, which proclaims that “Barcelona ya tiene su Los pilares de la Tierra” (Now Barcelona has its Pillars of the Earth), the novel has been heavily marketed for its resemblance to this 1989 doorstopper by Ken Follett, Spain’s most consistently popular author of the last decade. As the eagle-eyed (and elephant-memoried) among you will remember, back in the autumn of 2010 I set to reading Pillars of the Earth itself (all 1076 pages of it), partly as preparation for getting down to La catedral del mar. It’s taken me a little longer than I anticipated to get around to it, but now that I have, how did Catedral measure up to its illustrious predecessor?
*brushes cobwebs off blog*
Well hello again. Did everybody have a good Easter? Mine involved Scotland, snow, a(nother) massive Kindle binge, and a disappointingly small amount of chocolate. On the other hand I did spend a lot of time reading up about Sugar, Cod and Salt, (yes, I was on a commodities kick), so maybe there’ll be time for Chocolate yet…
Now, as regular readers may recall, I teased you all a couple of posts ago with the briefest mention of my upcoming collaboration with Rod Younger’s new online bookshop and web resource Books4Spain. In my (only very slightly biased) opinion, it’s a great initiative, with a team of enthusiastic and very knowledgeable contributors, and should become an essential bookmark for anybody who wants to know more about Spain in all of its rich and multilingual diversity. Not to mention the adorable editorial assistant JJ, whose exploits you can follow via the Books4Spain twitter feed.
Rod’s mission is to help readers discover that
Spain is not just about sun, sea and sangria, it’s about the Moors, the Reconquest, El Cid, Hernan Cortes, conquistadors, the Golden Age, Don Quijote, the Camino de Santiago, flamenco, Rioja,Ribera del Duero, paella, seafood, the Alhambra, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Velazquez, Goya, Murillo, Andres Segovia, Joaquin Rodrigo, Carmen, Napoleon, Wellington, the Spanish Armada,Catalunya (Catalonia), Andalucia, or Andalusia if you prefer, Rafael Nadal, Fernan Adria – the list goes on and on.
And it’s about great contemporary fiction too, so if you head over to the reviews section, you’ll find my first collaboration with Books4Spain, which is my review of the new English* edition of Maria Duenas’s blockbuster novel The Seamstress (orig. El tiempo entre costuras). Here’s a taster, just to give you an idea, but seriously – head on over, read the whole thing, enter the competition to win a free copy, and then stay and have a look around:
One of the perks of researching a new project – in this case, From Cervantes to Sunny Spain – is that until you actually nail down the final structure, pretty much anything can count as research. And so, aided by my newly-beloved Kindle, I’ve been splashing around in the balmy waters of late Victorian and Edwardian novels on all things related to Spain.
I discovered The Far Horizon during a speculative trawl through the Oxford Companion to Edwardian Fiction, which begins, tantalisingly, ‘Dominic Iglesias, son of a Spanish anarchist, devotes his life to the care of his saintly mother…’ . Fortunately, it looks as if at that point, my green highlighter and I moved on, for the Companion then proceeds to summarise the whole plot in a way that is scrupulously accurate, but – perhaps unsurprisingly in a work of this kind - somewhat lacking in oomph (that’s a technical term, obvs).
This past weekend saw the award of Spain’s most prestigious prize for fiction, the Premio Planeta. This year’s winner – the Spanish novelist Javier Moro, for El imperio eres tu (The Empire is You), about the first Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I (1798-1834). This, the 60th Planeta Prize, received nearly 500 entries, which is hardly surprising, given that it comes with prize money of 600,000 euros. Authors generally compete under a pseudonym (so avoiding the intense scrutiny that comes with the British Booker Prize, also to be awarded this week), and a shortlist of ten is drawn up before the event, from which the finalist is announced at a flashy gala in Barcelona, where Planeta are based. There’s also a runner-up, who this year is Inma Chacon, twin sister of the lamented Dulce Chacon, with Tiempo de arena (Time of Sand), about three sisters in turn-of-the-20th-century Spain.
Now, I have to be honest. I’ve never heard of Javier Moro, but since he is often described as a ‘superventas’ (bestseller), the fault is probably mine. He has a snazzy multilingual website in Spanish, English, and Italian where you can read all about his published works and see some press coverage of the uproar his most recent book, El sari rojo (The Red Sari) – about Sonia Gandhi – caused in India. In all the excitement about the Planeta, it looks as if he hasn’t had time to update it with the news of his win (but then, at time of writing, neither have Planeta…). El imperio… is Moro’s seventh book - his first, Senderos de libertad (Pathways of Freedom) was about Brazil, but the rest, which alternate between reportage and fiction, have all been about the Indian subcontinent. I’m particularly intrigued by Pasión India (2007), about a turn-of-the-20th-century Spanish flamenco dancer who married the Maharajah of Kapurthala. El imperio… is a detailed, closely-researched fictionalization of the life of Dom Pedro (above, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons), who was a figurehead of Brazilian independence from Portugal and died of tuberculosis at the age of 35.
So, will I read El imperio…? Probably. Eventually. I’m certainly going to read Chacon’s novel, since it’s about my favourite historical period, the turn of the 20th century, which has been horribly neglected by Spanish historical novelists since pretty much forever. I’ll certainly be intrigued to see if Moro’s novel makes as much of a splash in my site stats as last year’s winner, Eduardo Mendoza’s Rina de gatos, which has been the single most searched-for topic on this blog since the prize was announced in October 2010.
Read more: The Private Library on the Planeta’s low profile in the US; the Latin American Herald Tribune on Moro’s win; the Literary Saloon at the Complete Review, on the contrast between the Planeta and the Booker; Bibliotecas Redondela on the prize (in Galician); Spanish newspaper ABC on the award and the pseudonym question …
So I’m going to be travelling a lot over the next four months – three or four work trips to Spain and two to the US. And as you know, I love to read. I have a long history of schlepping piles of books across international borders (you have to take a lot because you never know what kind of reading mood you’ll be in when you get to wherever you’re going, OBVIOUSLY) and then hitting a bookshop on the first day and leaving my carefully-chosen piles completely unread. It’s a pathology. I’m chronic. And I’m usually very close to my budget airline luggage limit…
And so, after much to-ing and fro-ing, and with enthusiastic encouragement from Mr Booksonspain, who is nothing if not a pragmatist when it comes to the need for books (*because it wasn’t the cats who ordered the 35 mystery novels by a single author that have appeared in our house during the last 6 weeks*), I have finally acquired my first Kindle. And you know what? I *adore* it. I have the 3G version, which means free international web access, which means, yes, I have been able to download stuff on it from here in Spain even when there’s no WiFi available. It also has a rudimentary web browser (currently under development, not sure whether it’s permanent) which has been something of a lifesaver when circumstances have required emergency email access.
First up, thank you everybody for the lovely comments on my blogiversary post! Of course, I wrote it and promptly went off on holiday, hence this belated acknowledgment- but now I’m back and raring to get started on the next 12 months of rants and reviews.
From September, this blog will also be home to updates on my book-in-progress From Cervantes to Sunny Spain, the Making of a Modern Spanish Obsession, 1888-1918 - which means that on top of normal service, I’ll be posting titillating titbits and scintillating snippets about the people, institutions, events, celebrations, exhibitions, tours, performers and – of course! – books that contributed to making Spain public property and a crucial part of British public life during the 30 years between the tercentenary of the Spanish Armada in 1888 and the First World War. That means more trashy Edwardian novels (and some Victorians), more on the Anglo-Spanish royal wedding and the quite spectacular wave of opportunistic literary toadying it provoked, more Hispanophile entrepreneurs, more tourism history (don’t you just love the Booth Line postcard at the top of the post?) and my new obsession, mapblogging. Watch the Cervantes to Sunny Spain tag for more!
Next up, though, will be my promised review of María Dueñas’s El tiempo entre costuras. Watch this space!
Goodness gracious me, but I appear to have let the Very Important Anniversary of my first-ever post here at Books on Spain pass me by. How remiss! So, let’s pretend it’s last Wednesday, and this is my one-year blogiversary post.
A year ago, I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep this up for a month, let alone a year. But here I am! And here, if you’re reading this, are you – in which case, thank you for the support, the comments and the conversations. It’s been wonderful to meet so many new people – friends, writers, colleagues, bloggers – through this space. Notably, one of my reasons for creating Books on Spain was because I’d found very few blogs that talked about books on Spain for an Anglophone audience. And one of the joys of writing here has been to discover some other wonderful blogs that do exactly that. If you enjoy Books on Spain, go and check out By the Firelight, Caravana de Recuerdos, and Liburuak. You won’t regret it!
Ready … get set …. read!
Now I’ve recovered from the marathon that was Julia Navarro’s Dime quien soy, and after a couple of months devoted largely to trashy Edwardian fiction, I’m finally ready to begin the next Project Bestseller marathon read. As promised, my next big Spanish bestseller is María Dueñas’s El tiempo entre costuras (The Time Between Seams).
Since the first edition in June 2009, Dueñas’s novel has barely been out of the bestseller lists. Even in Que Leer’s February 2011 list (the most recent available online at the time of writing), it’s at no. 5 on the overall chart, and no. 3 on the fiction chart, after Javier Sierra’s enthusiastically-promoted El angel perdido (The lost angel, which saw Sierra embark on Spain’s biggest-ever promotional tour) and Federico Moccia’s slightly ickily-promoted Carolina se enamora (Caroline falls in love; original Italian title Amore 14).
Dueñas has been a Professor of English at the Universidad de Murcia in south-east Spain for almost 20 years, which makes her something of a poster-girl for mid-career academic reinvention. In June 2010, she was given two years’ leave to start writing her next novel, which she’s apparently doing at a university in the US. Conveniently, this means she should be on the spot when the English translation appears later this year, as The Time in Between (Simon & Schuster, 8 Nov 2011). Frustratingly, there is no information on the publisher webpage about the translator of the novel, which seems something of a professional diss to whoever’s currently working on it.
And what of the novel itself? I’m only about 50 pages in so far (out of 638), but already I can see that this is going to be a good read. It all begins in 1920s and 1930s Madrid, as the young seamstress Sira Quiroga relates her early life with her single mother, and her meeting with the man who is going to change her life. So far, so formulaic – but the level of writing, the tautness of description, and Sira’s own very likeable narrative voice gives the novel a liveliness and energy which, if it’s sustained, will make this a lively canter rather than a sweaty slog (/marathon metaphors).
Have you read the novel? What did you think of it? And why do you think that of all the historical-memory-civil-war novels currently flooding the Spanish market, it’s this one that has captured Spanish readers’ attention so completely?
So I’m in A Coruña for work, I have a free weekend, and I had this great idea: to figure out what the Edwardian lady travellers I’m currently researching saw while they were here in 1908 (Annette Meakin) and 1910 (Catherine Gasquoine Hartley), and to figure out how many of those things are still recognisable today. Typically, I spent *way* too much time last night designing a Google map to help me achieve this. This is actually the beginning of a small pilot for a bigger project I’m putting together, using geospatial data and visualizations to explore how travellers and tourists have interacted with specific sites through time. It’s a work in progress, and the dynamic version isn’t ready to be shown to the world, but you should be able to get an idea from this screenshot:
What you can see on the right of the screenshot is a map of Coruña’s old and new towns, with the markers I’ve inserted to show places mentioned by Meakin (yellow markers) and Hartley (blue). My route today is marked in green, beginning from the Hotel Riazor on the left of the shot, and proceeding anticlockwise in a large and untidy loop. It took me about 3.5 hours all told, including lunch at the Petite Bretagne on the Rua Riego de Agua (Tudela salad – recommended!), many (many!) photographs, and a stop for meringues at La Gran Antilla (of which more later…). On the left of the screenshot you can see a list of the entries associated with the markers for Hartley and Meakin, which are mostly relevant extracts from the two books I used as my sources, Meakin’s Galicia, the Switzerland of Spain (1909), and Hartley’s Spain Revisited: A Summer Holiday in Galicia (1911). In the dynamic version of the map, you can click on a marker and read what the author had to say about the site you’re looking at.
So I finished it. A couple of weeks ago now, actually. I made it through all 1097 pages of Julia Navarro’s epic bestselling novel Dime quién soy (Tell me who I am; Plaza y Janés, 2010) and ever since I have been trying to figure out what to write in this review. See, it’s not that I didn’t like the book. In fact, I loved it. Loved so much that I carried it around the house, up and down stairs, read it on the sofa, in the conservatory, in the garden, in bed at night. I think I might even have taken it home to my parents for the weekend.
Basically, the novel was the centre of my life for more than a fortnight, although if I hadn’t had, y’know, work things to do, I’d probably just have sat down and read it over a (long) weekend. I was smitten by the story of the 30-something internet journalist Guillermo who is tasked by his aunt to investigate the life of his elusive great-grandmother, Amelia Garayoa. When I announced that I was making a start on the novel, I still hadn’t quite grasped its scope. Navarro herself has described it as a portrait of ‘la memoria del siglo XX y la identidad de esas personas anónimas que lo protagonizaron ‘ (the memory of the 20th century and the anonymous people who lived it), and the story does indeed range widely, from 1930s Spain to Buenos Aires, Berlin, Moscow, London, Milan, Lisbon, Warsaw, Cairo and Paris. If Amelia witnesses and even participates in many of the 20th century’s most significant events at first hand, Guillermo – as he follows her trail through archives, experts, and the ordinary people whose lives Amelia touched – is able to explore how these events have been witnessed, memorialized, and in many cases, of course, forgotten.
At last! I’ve reached the final stretch of the Dime quien soy marathon – as of last night, I’m at p.655 and the last of four main sections. To be honest, since the book’s a little … ahem … hefty to carry around with me, the process is proving more like interval training than a sustained marathon. Still, after this, the 638pp of El tiempo entre costuras should be an easy sprint. Keep watching this space!
It’s true! After buying Julia Navarro’s bestselling monster novel Dime quién soy (Tell me who I am) on my last trip to Spain, and lugging all 1100 pages of the giant hardback across Spain and through the Pennines on my unscheduled diversion via Doncaster (blame the December snows), I have *finally* cracked it open today over a glass of wine in the spring sunshine. [N.B. wine = essential element in acquiring necessary Californian courage to take on this bicep-building project]. 1100 pages! In hardback!
Published in February 2010, Dime has stayed in Spain’s top ten of bestselling books ever since – Qué Leer‘s January bestseller list has it at no. 7 in fiction, and no. 8 overall, just edged out by Mario Conde’s autobiography Los días de gloria. It’s received lots of popular acclaim, but as I moaned just a couple of weeks ago, literary critics have been reluctant to acknowledge its success. As I noted then, given that this is a book we can be pretty sure People Are Reading in Spain, it didn’t get even a mention in an article on What People Are Reading in Spain, probably through a combination of having a female author and being (whisper it) *popular*.
¡Vaya! The UK’s Guardian newspaper is running a series on ‘the New Europe’ at the moment. It started two weeks ago with Germany, last week was France, and now we’re on to Spain, finishing up next week with Poland. This means lots of news stories focusing on Spain from the excellent Giles Tremlett, among others, and a strong focus on Spanish literature in the Guardian Books section, which is pretty exciting given the generally low profile of Spain’s four major literatures in the Anglo media. Yay! (in principle) for the Guardian!
So … what picture of Spanish literature is emerging from the discussions so far? Well, the piece that appeared yesterday on What they’re reading in Spain, by Borja Hermoso, a literary editor on El Pais, is sadly all too familiar. I’ve moaned here several times in the past about the rather limited demographic of Spanish authors covered in that august journal and its peers, and this piece largely reproduces those limitations. It’s mostly a set of disjointed observations about major male canonical figures, and not as well translated as it might have been, but it does end with a slightly more interesting (if unexplained) list of five ‘Bestsellers in Spain’, beginning with María Dueñas’s El tiempo entre costuras and running through Ken Follett, Julia Navarro, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and (a new one on me) John Verdon. So these are the books that the figures (from Nielsen?) show people reading in Spain, and yet not one of these authors even merited a mention in the main body of a text on ‘What people are reading in Spain’? Hmm.
Much more enlightening is the discussion that follows Richard Lea’s appeal on the Guardian Books Blog for suggestions of ‘the books – fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry – which sum up the land of El Cid, whether written by Spanish authors or not.’ Leaving aside the formulation of the question, which rather nudges us towards a dangerous universalism, the discussion has thrown up some interesting suggestions (including one or two I’d never heard of, which is always good news!). And for once, I wasn’t the one to point out the lack of women writers, although I did respond to said observation by throwing Dulce Chacon and Pardo Bazan into the mix. If you go and look at the comments you will also notice that there doesn’t seem to be any capacity to correct embarrassing typos in one’s own posts, which is something to bear in mind if like me you have fat fingers and were posting by phone from the passenger seat of a car barrelling up the M6 …
Seriously, though – if you’re a reader of Spanish, Basque, Catalan or Galician literature, go and join in the discussion. I’ll see you over there!
First up, I have to give all credit to Moya for writing the novel directly in English rather than Catalan or Spanish. She explains on her website that this was because she is based in London, and had the opportunity to workshop her writing with a writers’ group, so English became a natural medium. As somebody who works with and sometimes in foreign languages, I know the profound effort it takes to find one’s own voice in a new language – quite apart from worrying over grammatical accuracy or whether you’ve quite understood the nuance of a particular combination of words, it’s a question of finding a new rhythm and with it, inevitably, a new perspective. I won’t lie, there were parts of the writing where the rhythms and combinations felt … unfamiliar … to me, so that towards the beginning, especially, I found myself straining for the echoes of what I imagined to be Moya’s suppressed Catalan voice. Of course, the absence of complete domestication is no bad thing at all, and in fact, it’s this unfamilarity of expression that creates the slightly dislocated atmosphere that I think is fundamental to our belief in the transformation of the novel’s central character, Maria.
I’m still here! Just been reading some great reviews of Belén Gopegui’s first novel, from 1993: La escala de los mapas / The Scale of Maps, in its new English translation by Mark Schafer, published by City Lights (I was at college with a Mark Schafer; I wonder if it’s the same one? He was studying Japanese back then…). Here’s Janet Potter’s take on it, and here’s Christopher Merkel’s, both at Bookslut - Potter reads it alongside Max Frisch, and Merkel reads it alongside Merce Rodoreda. Mythili G Rao writes on it too, over at Words Without Borders, comparing it with Nabokov and Borges, something which is picked up over at at By the Firelight.
I’ve never read any Gopegui myself, because she’s somewhat idiosyncratic, a committed Communist, extremely politically literate, and since I’m … um … none of those things, I’ve always been a bit afraid I won’t quite get her. These reviews, though, have convinced me to give it a go – although a bit of Googling has turned up that this Mark Schafer is definitely *not* the one who made fabulous sushi and let me watch Polish tv via his satellite back in the day!
And so, to follow up on the previous post and take up Vida’s challenge to do something about the fact that ‘the numbers of articles and reviews simply don’t reflect how many women are actually writing‘, here are my suggestions for 10 contemporary Spanish women fiction writers to watch. I’m not claiming they’re the ‘best’ or ‘most important’ (cf: Stothard, quoted in the Guardian), but they’re writers I enjoy, and I think have something to say. Some are younger, some are older, some are well known and others not, and one or two of them are even sometimes translated into English. So … in alphabetical order by first name, here goes (links are to official homepages where available):