Finalists for the Short Story Prize II Premio de Narrativa Breve “Ribera de Duero”

The finalists for the second prize for the short story  Ribera de Duero (II Premio de Narrativa Breve “Ribera de Duero”) was announced last week.  via Moleskin Literario). I’m not familiar with any of them, but neither was I with Javier Sáez de Ibarra who won last year and I liked the story that was in El Pais. The winner is announced on the 31st of March.

Convocado por el Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Ribera del Duero y la editorial Páginas de Espuma, la segunda edición del Premio Internacional de Narrativa Breve Ribera del Duero ya tiene a sus finalistas. Las obras que entran en la selección final, seleccionadas de entre seiscientos sesenta libros de cuentos presentados por escritores de veinticinco nacionalidades, vienen firmadas por siete primeros espadas “de perfil muy heterogéneo”, según el comité de lectura, “aunque todos ellos están ligados desde hace tiempo al mundo de las letras”. Los miembros del jurado, cuya identidad se desconoce, dará a conocer el nombre del ganador el próximo 31 de marzo, día en que se celebrará el acto de entrega en el Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid.

El ganador de la edición anterior fue Javier Sáez de Ibarra por su obra Mirar al agua.

Finalistas del II Premio Internacional de Narrativa Breve
“Ribera de Duero”

– Dioses inmutables, amores, piedras, de Lolita Bosch

– Cuatro cuentos de amor invertebrado, de Marcos Giralt Torrente

– Ensimismada correspondencia, de Pablo Gutiérrez

– No hablo con gente fea, de Marcelo Lillo

– Ideogramas, de Juan Carlos Méndez Guédez

– El libro de los viajes equivocados, de Clara Obligado

– Los constructores de monstruos, de Javier Tomeo


Granta’s Best Young Spanish Writers at Three Percent

The ever interesting blog Three Percent from Open Letter Books is publishing bios of all 22 of the writers featured in Granta’s Best young writers in Spanish. So far they have put up bios of Andres Barba and a short story in English, Andres Neuman, Carlos Labbe, Federico Falco, and Santiago Roncagliolo amongst others. Definitely worth following if you are interested.

I’ve always had a thing for Spanish literature. Not sure exactly why or how this started, although I do remember struggling my way through Cortazar’s “A Continuity of Parks,” thinking holy s— this can’t actually be what’s happening, then reading the English version, finding myself even more blown away and proceeding to devour his entire oeuvre over the course of the ensuing year. (The next tattoo I get will likely be a reference to either Hopscotch or 62: A Model Kit.)

There’s something special about the great Spanish-language works . . . They can be as philosophically complicated as the French (see Juan Jose Saer’s Nouveau Roman influenced novels), while still remaining very grounded, emotional (see all of Manuel Puig), and others represent the epitome of wordplay and linguistic gamesmanship (see Cabrera Infante’s Three Trapped Tigers).

Not trying to say that Spanish-language literature is better than that of other languages—I’m just trying to explain why I’m so drawn to it, why we published Latin American authors make up such a large portion of Open Letter’s list (Macedonio Fernandez, Juan Jose Saer, Alejandro Zambra, Sergio Chejfec, not to mention the Catalan writers, which, though vastly different in language, have a sort of kinship with their fellow Spanish writers). And why I read so many Spanish works in my “free time,” why I love Buenos Aires, the tango, etc. . . .

Regardless, when I found out that Granta was releasing a special issue of the “Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists,” I was psyched. (This really hits at the crux of my obsessions: Spanish literature and lists.) I tried to tease names from the forthcoming list out of the wonderful Saskia Vogel and the multi-talented John Freeman, but neither would give away any secrets. So when the list was finally announced, I was doubly pleased to see that six of the authors on there either already are published by Open Letter or will be in the near future.

Granta en español Announces Its Best Young Novelists in Spanish

Grant en español has announced their take on the best young novelists in Spanish. You can see a complete list plus links to interviews and other information at El Pais’s blog, Papeles Perdidos. Here is the list of names:

Andrés Barba (España), Oliverio Coelho (Argentina), Federico Falco (Argentina), Pablo Gutiérrez (España), Rodrigo Hasbun (Bolivia), Sonia Hernández (España), Carlos Labbé (Chile), Javier Montes (España), Elvira Navarro (España), Matías Néspolo (Argentina), Andrés Neuman (Argentina), Alberto Olmos (España) Pola Oloixarac (Argentina), Antonio Ortuño (México), Patricio Pron (Argentina), Lucía Puenzo (Argentina), Andrés Ressia Colino (Uruguay), Santiago Roncagliolo (Perú), Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), Andrés Felipe Solano (Colombia), Carlos Yushimito del Valle (Perú) y Alejandro Zambra (Chile).

I have heard of several of these writers and some are in English. I know I have read a story by Samanta Schweblin and I think I liked it. She had something in the Latin American issue of Zoetrope. I haven’t read Andres Nueman yet, and I’m a little disappointed I didn’t buy one of his books when I was in Barcelona; he was on my list. Alejandro Zambra has been translated into English. You can read both Bonsai and the Private Lives of Trees. Santiago Roncagliolo has one book in English and as I noted earlier this week he will be on El Publico Lee. Jorge Volpi has noted his writings as a way forward with the political novel. I don’t know about the rest of the authors, but I guess that will give me an excuse to read the issue.


Read about some of them in English.