Category Spanish literature

And a followup, or, stop moaning, start shouting: 10 contemporary Spanish women writers to watch

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’ […]

An excuse, a tip, and a promise, or, head-first into the new semester and why I have been reading but not writing

This minipost is by way of an excuse, a tip, and a promise. First the excuse. Our new semester started this week, albeit with the old one still hanging around like a gentle whiff, in the shape of marking, moderation and mitigating circumstances. Last semester finished with a major exam on Friday afternoon, and the new one […]

Guest Blog! Mr Books-on-Spain on Domingo Villar’s Water-blue Eyes (Ojos de agua)

Today, for your delectation and delight, we have a guest blog from Mr Books-on-Spain, who normally writes over at In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel. I haven’t read this one yet myself, but when I do, I’ll post an update from my decidedly non-mystery-fan perspective. Over to you, Mr Books-on-Spain:   I promised myself […]

2011 Best Translated Book Awards Longlist (and yet another tiny little rant)

The folks over at Three Percent, the fabulous resource for international literature based at the University of Rochester in the US, have just released the longlist for the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards. There are 25 books, from 19 countries, written in 12 languages, and I’me excited to see several Spanish-language authors included (translator name […]

Review: Eduardo Mendoza’s “Rina de gatos. Madrid, 1936″ (2010)

The events and intrigues of the months leading up to Spain’s devastating Civil War of 1936-1939 have been chewed over, thoroughly digested and well … you know the rest … by historians of all hues during the last three quarters of a century. Nonetheless, Eduardo Mendoza (official webpage), one of Spain’s most established novelists, has managed […]

Happy thoughts for a lively and literary 2011!

Feliz aninovo, Feliz año nuevo, Bon any nou, Urte berri on, Feliz añu nuevu and Happy New Year to all of you! This blog has been going now for five whole months and has been more fun to research and write, and reached more readers, than I could ever have imagined when I started it back in […]

El Pais-Babelia’s top ten books of 2010 (a list, some links, and a minor rant)

It’s that time of year again – authors, critics, and (occasionally!) academics are asked to come up with their nominations for the year’s top books, according to various usually not terribly well-defined criteria. Pretty much every newspaper, magazine and cultural journal is in on the game, and Papeles Perdidos, the blog of the El Pais […]

Shameless self-promotion #1 | Advance edition

Writing Galicia into the World: New Cartographies, New Poetics by Kirsty Hooper | Liverpool University Press price: £ 65.00 | ISBN 9781846316678 Synopsis This book explores a part of Europe’s cultural and social landscape that has until now remained largely unmapped: the exciting body of creative work emerging since the 1970s from contact between the […]

Mini-review (and a spot of pedantry)| El sueno del celta, by Mario Vargas Llosa

 It’s amazing what you can achieve on an 8-hour train journey – in this case, reading almost the whole of the first Mario Vargas Llosa novel I have ever read of my own free will. Oh, it’s not the first one I’ve read – that honour goes to La ciudad y los perros (English trans: […]

Granta 113: The Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists

Nineteen seventy-five marked the end of the dictatorship in Spain. The repressive regimes in South American countries would hold out until the following decade, but other cultural changes were afoot. In Europe, the tradition of exiled South American writers living and working in Paris gradually came to an end. Instead of looking north for their […]

Christmas Book Suggestions from Papeles Perdidos (El Pais)

“El recuerdo que deja un libro es a veces más importante que el libro en sí”, dijo una vez Adolfo Bioy Casares. Y todos hemos tenido esa experiencia. El País Semanal Especial Navidad, del domingo pasado, publicó una serie de sugerencias de todo tipo para regalar en diciembre y ahí estaban los libros, claro. Ese […]

Review: Kirmen Uribe, “Bilbao-New York-Bilbao”

Which creative forms best allow us to capture the complex tapestries that bind together the stories of individuals, families, locations, and their relations with the world? This is the question that drives Kirmen Uribe’s debut novel Bilbao-New York-Bilbao, which as long-time readers might remember, has been on my ‘to read’ list since before the summer. Uribe, […]

Spanish Women Writers in the News

It’s been a good week for Spanish women writers of a certain generation (or two)! First of all, last Sunday the novelist Soledad Puértolas was inducted into the Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy), only the 5th woman member out of a current total of 46. I have to confess I haven’t read any of […]

Photoblogging from my mobile #1, or, a quiet weekend with a spot of reading

Of airports, airport bookshops, and libros de oro (yes, I’m in Spain!)

Stuart was right – Ken Follett is huge in Spain, or, more specifically, Pillars of the Earth and the long-awaited sequel World Without End are monster!!! Since it was Barcelona airport I was passing through this morning on my travels, I was intrigued to see Los pilares de la tierra and Mundo sin fin in the airport […]

Blog roundup: New discoveries

When I began this blog, it was because I just couldn’t find any blogs that had just the kind of mix I wanted of info on books from and about Spain. Happily, as I’m discovering in my wanderings around the blogosphere, this doesn’t mean there aren’t some excellent blogs out there about Spanish and, more […]

Project Bestseller #2: Matilde Asensi and the mystical geography of Spain

Damn! I wrote this whole post and poof! it was gone … so [Round Two] … I promised a couple of months back to talk a bit more about Matilde Asensi, who has been one of Spain’s bestselling authors for around 10 years now, but who I’d never come across until I began looking at Spain’s bestseller lists for an […]

Premio Nacional de Narrativa 2010: Javier Cercas

Everybody loves a winner! Javier Cercas, best known for the civil war docufiction Soldados de Salamina (Soldiers of Salamis, 2001)*, has just been announced as this year’s recipient of Spain’s prestigious national prize for fiction, the Premio Nacional de Narrativa. The book for which he won, Anatomía de un instante (Anatomy of a Moment, 2009) is another history-fiction […]

Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists | Granta Magazine

Since I love lists, I was delighted to see this one, of the best young Spanish-language novelists, according to Granta magazine. To my shame I haven’t read any of them and in fact have only ever heard of one of them – Pola Oloixarac, who I mentioned in another list here a little while back. As a […]

On professional commitment, or, Ken Follett, Ildefonso Falcones, and an example of true dedication to the cause

There is a fine line between professional commitment and obsession and I think I might be about 150 pages into crossing it. As part of Project Bestseller, I’m trying to read as many of the bestselling Spanish novels of the last decade as I can.  The two currently at the top of my reading list are closely related; […]

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