Sunday, March 20, 2011

Contemporary Spanish Literature: What To Read?, Part II

- If you are into trashy literature (which it is your God-given right to be), then historical mystery novels by Arturo Pérez-Reverte and adventure novels by Carlos Ruiz Zafón should be of interest to you. Their books are bestsellers in most European countries (including mine, which is very surprising.) In my opinion, they are as bad as they are popular. Pérez-Reverte's most popular novel is said to be La reina del Sur (The Queen of the South in English). The writer recently announced that there will now be a soap opera based on this book. As for Zafón, his most famous novel is La sombra del viento (The Shadow of the Wind). Very convoluted, silly, but so easy to read that you can get through it in a couple of days even if your Spanish isn't really good.

- Care Santos writes very well about teenagers and people in their early twenties. She is about to release a collection of short stories about ghosts, so if you are into the supernatural, stay on the look out for her Los que rugen

- Eduardo Mendoza has been writing great novels since 1975 when he published his La Verdad Sobre El Caso Savolta. Last year he won Premio Planeta with his Rina de Gatos, Madrid 1936 (Spanish Edition) which I'm planning to read as soon as I get it.

- A colleague recently introduced me to a writer I somehow managed to miss but who is really good.  Eduardo Mendicutti's Una mala noche la tiene cualquiera (Fabula / Fables) (Spanish Edition) is the only novel by this writer I have read so far but if it's any indication of his talent, then he is definitely worth following. This novel is funny, touching, and very well-written.

Juan José Millás is a writer whose books I read because I have to, not because I love them. His El desorden de tu nombre and La soledad era esto have long become classics. I, however, find that if you've read one of them, you've read them all. This writer doesn't strike me as being extremely original.

- Rafael Chirbes also has a tendency to employ the same formula in his novels but that formula and the resulting novels are so good that he can be forgiven for giving us too much of a good thing. His La caida de Madrid is the best novel on the events of November 19, 1975 that I have ever read. And if you don't know why that date is important, then you should really find out before you proceed to read contemporary Spanish literature.

I know that I'm missing somebody important but I can't think of who that might be right now. Feel free to offer comments and suggestions.


Angie Harms. said...

Could we be treated to your recommendations for Latin American writers as well?

Clarissa said...

I don't do it professionally, but I could share what I read from Latin American authors.