Snippet: Antonio Muñoz Molina, “Como la sombra que se va”

Publisher’s summary:

A city, a magnicide, an obsession. The flight of an assassin who couldn’t kill a dream of liberty.

On 4 April 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated. While on the run, James Earl Ray, his assassin, spent ten days in Lisbon trying to get a visa for Angola. Obsessed with this fascinating man, and helped by the recent opening of the FBI files on the case, Antonio Muñoz Molina reconstructs Ray’s crime, flight and capture, but above all his steps through the city. Lisbon is scenery and essential character of this novel, as it receives three journeys that alternate in the writer’s gaze: the one of James Earl Ray the fugitive in 1968; the one of a young Antonio who in 1987 visits in search of the inspiration to write the novel that would make him an established author, El invierno en Lisboa [Winter in Lisbon]; and the one of the man who writes this story today from the necessity to discover something essential about these two total strangers. Original, passionate and honest, Como la sombra que se va [Like the shadow that disappears] addresses from maturity relevant topics of Antonio Muñoz Molina’s work: the difficulty of faithfully recreating the past, the instant’s fragility, identity’s construction, fortuity as engine of reality or human rights’ vulnerability; but here they come into a form through a completely free first person who investigates essentially the process of writing itself.

SOURCE: Planeta

Snippet: Elvira Lindo as (self-) publisher

The writer Elvira Lindo (Cádiz, 1962; Wikipedia) is also a publisher now. Earlier in December she presented the new label Lindo&Espinosa (official website; Ximo Espinosa of Oficio Ediciones is the other namegiver) and her first work as author cum publisher, Memphis-Lisboa [Memphis-Lisbon]: a selection of 24 photos and short texts that originated during travels with her husband, the writer Antonio Muñoz Molina (Úbeda, 1956; Wikipedia), when the latter prepared his latest novel, Como la sombra que se va [Like the shadow that disappears], on James Earl Ray, MLK’s assassin [there will be a separate post].

The title is a good example of what the new label is aiming at: projects in which the visual part – be it photos or other illustrations – and the text share the same importance. Books as artisanal products in which one can appreciate the publisher’s love for the contents and the form, for the book as object.

The next two projects are a poetry selection accompanied by naif illustrations by Aitor Saraiba (Talavera de la Reina, 1983; homepage), and Paseo por el Hudson [Hudson walk] with texts by Antonio Muñoz Molina [again].

SOURCE: El País, Dec. 17, 2014

Joan Barril, Writer and Journalist, Dies at 62

Joan Barril (Barcelona, 1952 – 2014) was a writer and “pluri-media” journalist.

He studied Philosophy and Letters at the Universitat de Barcelona and fathered five children. Barril wrote newspaper columns (a total of around 16,000 during his lifetime) and directed a radio show. In the past, he had been the editor in chief of the weekly paper El món [The world], and the host of the TV shows Qwerty on Barcelona TV and, together with Joan Ollé, L’illa del tresor [Treasure island] on Canal 33 [the culture channel of regional Catalan TV]. He founded and directed the publishing house Barril & Barral.

Among his books are the following (prizes awarded):

Un submarí a les estovalles [A submarine on the tablecloth] (Pere Quart prize for humour&satire, 1988)

Parada obligatòria [Obligatory stop] (Ramon Llull, 1988)

Tots els ports es diuen Helena [All the harbours are called Helena] (Ramon Muntaner, 1998; Crítica Serra d’Or for children’s and juvenile lit, 2000)

Certes mentides [Certain lies] (23 de Abril, 2002)

Les terres promeses [The promised lands] (Caixa Sabadell, 2010)

This blogger for a time used to follow his evening radio show “El Cafè de la República” (cf. 2009 post) while doing the dishes.

SOURCE: La Vanguardia, Dec. 13, 2014

Snippet: “Spain’s Great Untranslated” [from “Words w/out borders”]

This blogger has discovered Words without borders (homepage) today; the magazine’s February 2013 issue contained English translations of otherwise not translated contemporary Spanish authors under the title “Spain’s Great Untranslated”: Fernando Aramburu (San Sebastian, 1959; Wikipedia), Cristina Fernández Cubas (Arenys de Mar, 1945), Miquel de Palol (Barcelona, 1953; information), Ignacio Martínez de Pisón (Zaragoza, 1960), Antonio Gamoneda (Oviedo, 1931, Cervantes laureate 2006; Wikipedia), Pere Gimferrer (Barcelona, 1945; Wikipedia), Berta Vias Mahou (Madrid, 1961, a translator herself), César Antonio Molina (La Coruña, 1952, a writer and politician [sic!]), Juan Antonio Masoliver Ródenas (Barcelona, 1939; information), Olvido Garcia Valdés (Santianes de Pravia, 1950; Wikipedia), Pedro Zarraluki (Barcelona, 1954), and Juan Eduardo Zúñiga (Madrid, 1929, also a literary critic and translator). The collection is also available in book format.

Snippet: Portugal Telecom literary prizes 2014

Given the sponsor’s name one could think they were awarded in Portugal, but the Grande Prémio Portugal Telecom are for works published in Brazil, though one of the 2014 laureates is Portuguese. The prize for the best novel went to Sérgio Rodrigues (Muriaé, Brazil, 1962) for O Drible [The dribble], for best poetry to Gastão (Santana Franco da) Cruz (Faro, Portugal, 1941) for Observação de Verão Seguido de Fogo [Observation of summer followed by fire], and best story collection to Everardo Norões (Crato, Brazil, 1944; examples of poetry) for Entre Moscas [Among flies].

The winning novel “tells the story of a former sports journalist who, at 80, at life’s end, decides to reconnect to his son to whom he hasn’t spoken in 20 years. Little by little, the old father who lived the golden years of Brazilian soccer weaves the rapprochement with his son, sharing with him during their Sunday’s fisheries the stories of the great Brazilian soccer stars of his time.”

The novel has already been translated into Spanish and published with the title El regate [The dribble]. Rodrigues’ English homepage is very informative. One learns that an earlier of Rodrigues’ novels is available in English: Elza, the girl.

SOURCE: Diário de Notícias, Dec. 9, 2014