First novel: “Autopsia”, by Miguel Serrano

Miguel Serrano Larraz (Zaragoza, 1977) “official” debut novel [cf. biographical info] is called Autopsia [Autopsy] (Candaya, 400 p.). The publisher describes it as the “autopsy of a character and a generation marked by emptiness, incommunication, violence and guilt.”

The work: “Autopsia‘s main character is a young man obsessed with a dark act of his past: the harassment of a high-school classmate, Laura Buey, whom he believes he destroyed the life of and whom he never again heard of afterwards. In an obsessive discourse, sometimes delirious, the protagonist reviews all violent acts that have taken place in his surroundings: the urban tribes of his youth,  class struggle, couple relationships, literature, family, friendship.”

“The novel, that is something of a collective portrait of the first generation with internet access that enlarged the private myths to make them public, is an attempt at reflecting on guilt, vengeance, fatherhood, the difficulty of affirming one’s personality in a provincial town… but also on the appropiation of the experiences of others, on social networks, on idols and on anonymous characters that trace and destroy at the same time our sentimental education.”

Judging from the publisher’s website, the book has been quite successful in getting (positively) reviewed in a wide range of media. The review by Carles Geli remarks that “Autopsia exudes a low-intensity but everyday violence, ubiquitous also in the socioeconomic as observed in the job insecurity of young people, an aspect the novel doesn’t dodge in an unusual treatment for contemporary Spanish fiction.” Geli sees influences of Bolaño and Coetzee.

The author: “… studied Physical Sciences and Spanish Philology. He has worked different jobs: cashier, professional magician, bookseller, administrative assistant, and ghostwriter. Presently he works as a translator (…) and writer. He became known with the story collection Órbita [Orbit, 2009] that placed him in the first line of his generation’s writers. Serrano is also the author the Un breve adelanto de las memorias de Manuel Troyano [A short advancement of M. Troyano’s memories, 2008]. Under the pseudonym Ste Arsson he wrote the parody Los hombres que no ataban a las mujeres [a parody of Stieg Larsson’s Män som hatar kvinnor (“Men Who Hate Women” – English: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) that in Spanish is called Los hombres que no amaban a las mujeres (The men who didn’t love women].

SOURCES: El País, Sept. 1, 2014, Candaya (publisher)


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