On September 21, the writer Ignacio Martínez de Pisón (Zaragoza, 1960) won the National Fiction Prize for his 2014 book La buena reputación [A good reputation] (640 pages); the award is given by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, and it is endowed with 20,000 EUR.
The jury described the book as “a portrait of the Judeo-Spanish world in Melilla during the Protectorate and the complex development of a network of family relationships as part of an extensive tale that is very faithful to the traditions of fiction.”
Samuel and Mercedes are concerned about their two daughters’ future watching the imminent decolonization of Spanish Morocco and the retreat of the Spaniards from the Protectorate back to the peninsula. We are in Melilla in the 1950s and in this context of change and insecurity, the couple decides to travel to Málaga to settle in a Spain that is slowly beginning to open up to modernity. Through five different members of the same family, this saga wanders through 30 years of Spanish history and passes through cities such as Melilla, Tetuán, Málaga, Zaragoza or Barcelona. Samuel and Mercedes’ desires and hopes and those of their daughters and grandchildren will be conditioned by unspeakable secrets in a life that goes by in a fleeting and unexpected manner. La buena reputación is a novel about the inheritance we receive from the past and about the feeling of belonging, about the necessity of finding our place in the world. An essential author of Spanish letters, Ignacio Martínez de Pisón in these pages brings to life some unforgettable characters in a sharp and truthful portrait of the daily life and the fate of a family. A wonderful piece of reading one wants to return to, because in it we see reflected our own experiences and the nostalgia for those moments that are lost in memory.
SOURCE: thespanishbookstage.com (news); Planeta (publisher)