- BBC World News
April 8, 2021, 00:48 GMT
With a diverse and widely distributed selection between countries, the emblematic British magazine Granta announced the names of the 25 most promising narrators in Spanish under 35 years of age on the current literary scene.
The list of “The best young storytellers in Spanish 2” It was unveiled this Wednesday at the Cervantes Institute in Madrid and the countries with the highest representation are Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Cuba.
The selection also includes authors from Chile, Equatorial Guinea, Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Ecuador and Nicaragua, and has 14 men and 11 women.
This is the second list of writers in Spanish compiled by the centennial UK literary and editorial magazine, after the one made in 2010, and is accompanied by the publication of unpublished texts by the authors in their editions in Spanish and English.
The jury was made up of Aurelio Major, Horacio Castellanos Moya, Gaby Wood, Rodrigo Fresán and Chloe Aridjis.
The best of their generation
The president of Granta, the Swedish philanthropist Sigrid Rausing, highlighted in a virtual intervention during the presentation of the list the publication’s commitment to “find the best storytellers of their generation and present them to the world.”
Rausing explained that the challenges to developing this list of narrators in Spanish are greater than those for English writers from both the United States and the United Kingdom, because, he said, “it is necessary to edit, plan and read works from three continents conscientiously.”
To the call, addressed to writers in Spanish under 35 years of age and with at least one published book, more than 200 authors attended.
Unlike the 2010 selection, this time around there is greater diversity in terms of ethnicity and gender.
The technology and the work that went into producing the first list helped the jury look beyond the cities and the big publishers.
Common themes and influences
The editor and director of Granta in Spanish, Valerie Miles, recalled this Wednesday that when “the first generational snapshot” of Granta was taken in a language other than English, it was not possible to think that we would currently face “the clutches of a global pandemic.” .
And although among the papers submitted by the authors there were no diaries of the pandemic because they were banned, Miles acknowledged that it was inevitable that the “ravages of what has been lived” get a glimpse of the works presented.
Common themes emerged, such as that of unstructured families or power and its corruption, as well as shared influences, especially Philip K Dick, Roberto Bolaño and Sylvia Plath, who seems to have become the reference of the younger generations of writers.
On the list, Mateo García Elizondo stands out, a young Mexican author who is the grandson of two great giants of Latin American letters: the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez and the Mexican Salvador Elizondo.
“The play he wrote for this issue is about a man who is thrown into space because instead of capital punishment, people are sent into space and left there to live alone until they die,” Miles explained.
The selected ones
This is the complete list (in alphabetical order):
- Andrea Abreu (Spain)
- José Adiak Montoya (Nicaragua)
- David Aliaga (Spain)
- Carlos Manuel Álvarez (Cuba)
- José Ardila (Colombia)
- Gonzalo Baz (Uruguay)
- Miluska Benavides (Peru)
- Martín Felipe Castagnet (Argentina)
- Andrea Chapela (Mexico)
- Camila Fabbri (Argentina)
- Paulina Flores (Chile)
- Carlos Fonseca (Costa Rica)
- Mateo García Elizondo (Mexico)
- Aura García-Junco (Mexico)
- Munir Hachemi (Spain)
- Dainerys Machado Vento (Cuba)
- Estanislao Medina Huesca (Equatorial Guinea)
- Cristina Morales (Spain)
- Alejandro Morellón (Spain)
- Michel Nieva (Argentina)
- Monica Ojeda (Ecuador)
- Eudris Planche Savón (Cuba)
- Irene Reyes-Noguerol (Spain)
- Aniela Rodríguez (Mexico)
- Diego Zúñiga (Chile)
A historical magazine
Granta was founded in 1889 by students of the University of Cambridge and soon became a precedent for the success of several authors, at that time still new, such as Sylvia Plath or AA Milne.
Almost a century later, 40 years ago, the magazine was separated from the study center and Rausing acquired the English edition in 2005.
Under his command, 10 editions in different countries of a magazine that is published both digitally and on paper.
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