Snippet: Guadalajara lit award to Vila-Matas


This year’s Guadalajara International Book Fair (28 Nov – 6 Dec), the most important for Spanish literature world-wide, on 28 November 2015 awarded its formerly known as Juan Rulfo prize, now called FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages, Latin America’s most important literary prize, to Spanish author Enrique Vila-Matas (Barcelona, 1948).

The fair has got this press release on the event (in English).

Vila-Matas’ homepage shows those works of his available in English and also quite a long list of recent, very positive reviews in the English-speaking press. It also offers the text of his acceptance speech in Guadalajara (in Spanish).

On the occasion of this event, Joan de Sagarra (Paris, 1938; Wikipedia), a writer and cultural journalist admired by this blogger, wrote an interview article on Vila-Matas in La Vanguardia newspaper, of which some excerpts are reproduced here:

The Barcelonese writer Enrique Vila-Matas experienced in the Latin-American literary society -especially the Argentine and the Mexican- a warm reception.

“I dedicate this award to Sergio Pitol, the Mexican writer who was decisive in my literary vocation.”

Pitol wrote about Vila-Matas in Letras Libres (Mexico, 2001): “I considered him my secret twin brother… With his latest books, Enrique has become my teacher…”

Vila-Matas still believes in what he said in 2001, when he received the Rómulo Gallegos award: “We have to move to a literature that reflects the spirit of the time, a mixed literature, where the limits mix up and reality can dance at the border of fiction, and the rhythm erases this border. From a moment on, I always want to be a stranger.”

“In the present (2015) I continue as always in a state of alert, and I try to flee from the nets of homeland and religion.”


SOURCE: Joan de Sagarra, La Vanguardia, Nov. 21, 2015, pp. 44-45 [printed edition]










Snippet: L. Padura’s “The Man Who Loved Dogs”


Though by a Cuban author, Leonardo Padura, The Man Who Loved Dogs needs to be recommended here, some parts of the story are set in Civil War Spain, and one of the protagonists is a Spaniard. The book is a novelized double biography of Leon Trotski and his assassin, Ramón Mercader; shows how the Soviet Union under Stalin “worked”, and a lot more. A great book about History, tragedies, treason and compassion. has got an impressive review page for this book.


Snippet: “Vae Victus”, sequel to Albert Sánchez Piñol’s “Victus”


Book sales in Spanish and Catalan have started Nov. 18, 2015.

Publisher’s summary:

Vae Victus narrates four new adventures of the engineer Martí Zuviría.

The book begins on September 12, 1714, the day after the fall of Barcelona and shortly before Zuviría flees to North America where he will help the Yamas Indians in the war against the English colonists. After the American adventure the action moves back to Catalonia but it will also reach London, Germany and even New Zealand. Historical characters that already appeared in Victus reappear, such as the ambiguous Duke of Berwick, his archenemy Verboom, or the admired general Villarroel; at the same time there appear new ones, such as the famous anti-French guerrillero Pere Joan Barceló -a.k.a. Carrasclet– or the English explorer James Cook.

Sánchez Piñol confirms in Vae Victus his narrative pulse, a prodigious balance  between historical rigour and boundless imagination and a sense of humour that convert his prose into one of the most modern and at the same time most popular of our times.

250.000 copies.
Translated into 16 languages.
Movie rights sold.


SOURCE: La Campana (publisher)

Snippet: Herralde prize 2015 to Marta Sanz for “Show Business”

As every first Monday in November since 1983, the publishing house Anagrama announced on November 2 this year’s winner of the Premio Herralde de Novela [named after the publisher Jorge Herralde himself, endowed with 18,000 EUR] for an unpublished novel written in Spanish.

This year’s winner is the veteran writer Marta Sanz (Madrid, 1967) for her novel Farándula, which the publisher already offers for translation as Show Business. More on the novel as well as on the author can be read on Anagrama’s foreign rights pages.

The runner-up was Miguel Àngel Hernández (Murcia, 1977) with El Instante de peligro [The Instant of Danger], to be published in the US and the UK by Hispabooks. Also in this case Anagrama offers more information on the novel and the author.

SOURCE: El País, November 2, 2015; Anagrama (publisher)