From Reading Room/8:

About the Authors

Juan Benet:
RUSTED LANCES. Famed for his tremendous literary range and audacity until his untimely death from cancer in 1993, Benet injected into the Spanish novel a musical tonality a-typical of Spanish literature and he turned the Civil War, and the memory of it, into subtle high art.  BOOK IV of Rusted Lances unfolds of the war as it might have happened in his imagined Región, which was his Yoknapatawpha County. One of Spain’s leading dam and bridge engineers, Benet’s detailed descriptions of imagined military battles, bridge maneuvers, and battle maps are amazing.  But the real motor beneath Benet’s dazzling intelligence and literary accomplishments belonged to a ten year old boy, whose father had been shot in the opening days of the war, and who, in the days that followed sneaked off with his brother to the University City, where the major battles for Madrid were taking place, to try to figure out the war that was happening around them. Translated by Kathleen McGough Johnson.

Manuel Fernández Montesinos:
WHAT STILL LIVES WITHIN US. Montesinos was five when his father, the Mayor of Granada, and his uncle, Federico García Lorca were assassinated. Soon after, his family sought asylum in New York.  His autobiography What Still Lives Within Us is infused with dreamy days in the gardens of Granada, the never directly alluded to disappearance of his father and uncle, and the anxiety of the adults around him.  Abruptly Manuel is transported to a different culture, a Manhattan progressive private school.  In the 1970s he reclaims his lost Spanish past, and spends a year in jail as part of the clandestine socialist movement.  After Spain’s first democratic election Montesinos became a congressman from the province of Granada. Translated by Isabel García Lorca and John J. Healey.

Jorge Semprún:
REFLECTIONS ON GERMANY’S LOST JEWISH CULTURE. Minister of Culture under Felipe Gonzalez’s socialist government, Semprún was born in Madrid in 1923.  During the Nazi occupation of France he joined the French communist resistance and was deported to Buchenwald. His autobiographies—The Long Voyage and Quel Beau Dimanche—record his experience there. His work has received many awards including the 1997 Jerusalem Prize. His screenplays, including “La Guerre est Fini” and “Stavisky”, deal with his disillusion with communism and the horrors of war. Translated by Mara Faye Lethem

Barbara Probst Solomon:
THE SPANISH JOURNEY OF THE 20TH CENTURY AMERICAN NOVEL: ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND SAUL BELLOW. Solomon has published six books of fiction, memoirs, and an essay collection. They include: The Beat of Life, Arriving Where We Started, Short Flights, Smart Hearts in the City, and Horse-Trading and Ecstasy. She is US cultural correspondent of El País. “Rabat”, also in the current issue, is a section from her forthcoming novel The King of Paris. She has written for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Her many awards include Spain’s top journalist award, The Francisco Cerecedo Award (2008), the United Nations’ Women Together Award, and Boston University’s Lawrence Law Whyte Award for her film “When the War Was Over”

Javier Marías:
Javier Marías published his first novel The Dominions of the Wolf at the age of 17.In 1997 A Heart So White won the IMPAC Dublin literary award and became a bestseller. His fiction has been published in more than 34 languages. The final volume of his trilogy Your Face Tomorrow, is coming out this year in The United States.  He publishes a weekly column for the Spanish newspaper El País. Translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

Juan Goytisolo:
EXILED FROM HERE AND THERE: EXCERPTS. The recipient of Spain’s most prestigious literary prize, the Premio Nacional de las Letras Españolas, Goytisolo is the major voice defining Spanish letters. He was seven when his mother was killed in the first Francoist air raid in 1938. His works – Marks of Identity, Count Julian and Juan the Landless, were banned in Spain during his self-exile which lasted until Franco’s death.   “Exiled From Here and There, Excerpts” is pure Goytisolo: his own special sly, passionate take on the mad rumblings of the human condition.  Translated by Peter Bush.

Teolinda Gersão:
Teolinda Gersão was born in Coimbra, Portugal, has lectured in Berlin and has been a professor of Comparative Literature in Lisbon until 1995. She has received major awards in Portugal and has been translated into several languages. Her works include  Árvore das Palavras and A Mulher que Prendeu a chuva. She has just won two literary prizes, the Maxima Review Literary Prize and the Prize for Fiction of the Inês de Castro Foundation.  Translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

Juan Marsé:
THE GHOST AT THE ROXY CINEMA. Marsé, winner of the 2008 internationally prestigious Cervantes Prize, is the author of the acclaimed If They Tell You I Fell, which was first published in Mexico due to Francoist censorship. His early writings about post-war Barcelona included dialogues for films.  His story “The Ghost at the Roxy Cinema” is a hilarious account of a screenwriter who, enamored of Hollywood films during the repressive Franco regime, is attempting to write a romantic Spanish screenplay, but the only images that come to his mind are those of Hollywood stars and movies. Translated by Mara Faye Lethem.

Ángel Vázquez:
Ángel Vázquez (1929-1980) was born and raised in Tangier. He is the author of Se enciende y se apaga una luz which received the Premio Planeta, one of Spain’s major literary honors, in 1962. His other works include El cuarto de los ninos (1958) and Fiesta para una mujer sola (1964). La vida perra de Juanita Narboni appeared after a twelve-year hiatus in 1976. Critics and authors alike have acknowledged the singularity of this novel that is one of the earliest, if not the earliest, instance of linguistic metissage in Spanish literature. In it, Vazquez has written a testament to the vanished linguistic and cultural universe of Tangier. Translated by Nadia Benabid.

Miguel Ángel Aguilar:
Miguel Ángel Aguilar was born in Madrid in 1943. He started his journalistic career in Diario Madrid, a daily which was closed down and bombed by Franco’s government. He is a columnist of El Pais, La Vanguardia and Cinco Dias and a regular contributor for several radio and TV programs. His books include El vertigo de la prensa, Las últimascortes del franquismo and Anatomía y claves del asalto al Congreso, a first hand account of the military coup in 1981on Madrid’s congress. He is Secretary of the Spanish chapter of the Association of European Journalists and Chairman of the cultural institution Fundación Carlos de Amberes. Translated by Lorin Stein.

Rosa Pereda:
Rosa Pereda has worked for the Spanish newspaper El Pais since it was founded in 1974. Her work includes La sombra del Gudari (The Shadow of the Gudari), the collection Tres cuentos inmorales (Three Immoral Tales) and several essays, among them Contra Franco. 1968-1978 (Against Franco.1968-1978). In it, she portrays Spain during its journey from dictatorship to democracy. Translated by Mara Faye Lethem.

Marta Carrasco Benítez:
Marta Carrasco Benítez’s dance criticism has appeared in Diario 16 de Andalucía, and ABC de Sevilla, as well as in international media. Her books include ´"El maestro Granero", "La Danza en Europa tras la Segunda Guerra Mundial" and "Távora, el sentimiento trágico de Andalucía".  She is consultant to the Minister of Culture of the Spanish government. Translated by Mara Faye Lethem.

Enrique Krauze:
Enrique Krauze is the author of several seminal books on Mexican history, including Siglo de caudillos (winner of the Comillas Biography Award), Biografía del poder (1987, published in English as Mexico: Biography of Power) and La presidencia imperial (1997).  El poder y el deliro, about Hugo Chavez, was published in 2008.  He produced México Siglo XX and México Nuevo Siglo, two historical TV series about Mexico, on Televisa in Mexico, and for PBS. He is publisher of the international magazine Letras Libres. Translated by Natasha Wimmer.

La Prade:
La Prade’s two poetry collections are: Things Maps Don’t Show and Figure Studies. His poems, articles, and photographs have appeared in numerous journals, including The New York Times, The Louisiana Review, HOWL, San Francisco Poetry News and are anthologized in Captured: A History of Film and Video on the Lower East Side.

Juan Cruz Ruiz:
Juan Cruz Ruiz was born in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife in 1948. He is an editor and a journalist on the staff of El Pais. He published his first book, Crónica de la nada hecha pedazos, in 1972. Since then he has written a dozen more. Ojalá octubre came out in Spain in 2007. Translated by Kevin Krell. 

Mark Probst:
Mark Probst is the author of the novel “Winter Losses.” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and fiction in The Yale Review.  He is a longtime officer of a securities firm and lives in New York.  

Benjamin Taylor:
Benjamin Taylor, a member of the Graduate Writing Program faculty at The New School, is the author of a book of essays, Into the Open, and the novels, The Book of Getting Even and Tales Out of School, winner of the Harold Ribalow Prize. In 2009 Penguin will publish The Letters of Saul Bellow, edited by Taylor.

Eve Goldberg:
Eve Goldberg is a writer and filmmaker who lives in northern California.  Her credits include the Emmy nominated Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist (writer/editor) and Cover-Up: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair (writer/editor).

Roberto Bolaño:
Roberto Bolaño was born in Chile in 1953. A novelist and poet, he won in 1999 the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for his novel Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives). He lived in Mexico, El Salvador, France and Spain and died in 2003. His novel 2666 was published in Barcelona by Anagrama posthumously in Spanish and was published last year in English by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Translated by Laura Healey.

Donald Maggin:
Donald Maggin is the author of the biographies of Stan Getz, Dizzie Gillepsie, and is currently working on a biography of Max Roach. He has written on public affairs for the Christian Science Monitor and in his book about the savings and loan crisis Bankers, Builders, Knaves and Thieves. He served in the White House under President Carter. 

Núria Amat:
Núria Amat was born in Barcelona in 1951 and has won many prizes. Her most recent work includes the novels El país del alma and La intimidad.. Reina de América won Barcelona’s Premi Ciutat in 2002. It was published here as Queen Cocaine. Translated by Peter Bush.

Michael Filimowicz:
Michael Filimowicz, an interdisciplinary artist, is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he teaches at Simon Fraser University. He is a recipient of the Illinois Arts Council Media Arts Fellowship, and his writing has previously appeared in The Capilano Review, Margie (Finalist, Marjorie J. Wilson Award for Poetry), Janus Head, Leonardo Music Journal, and Luminous Green.











Barcelona 1974, Mario Muchnik

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