Almudena Grandes

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Almudena Grandes

Almudena Grandes Hernández (Madrid, 7 May 1960) is a Spanish writer.

She studied geography and history at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is married to the poet Luis García Montero. In 1989 she won the La Sonrisa Vertical prize with her erotic novel Las edades de Lulú, which has been translated into several languages. Bigas Luna made a movie based on this book, as did Gerardo Herrero with Malena es un nombre de tango and Juan Vicente Córdoba with El lenguaje de los balcones in his film Aunque tú no lo sepas.

As Emilie L. Bergmann said, her novel Las edades de Lulú (1989) "represented a breakthrough for eroticism in women's writing".[1]

Later in her career, with Ines y la alegria (2010), she gets the prize of literature "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz".[2]

Her books speak about the Spanish people in the last quarter of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st century. She shows in them a great realism and an intense psychological introspection.

Influences in her works[edit]

Almudena Grandes highlights the influence, especially during her adolescence, and marks the works of authors like Benito Perez Galdos, Daniel Defoe –in particular his work Robinson Crusoe– and Homer with his Odyssey . These works mark the attachment felt by the author by survivor archetype characters, not necessarily castaways, but muddling people, who survive one way or another, against the heroes, antiheroes, etc. Moreover, as many other Spanish writers, it is important to note the large influence of Cervantes, that will inspire Almudena Grandes to build complex stories, small stories and more extensive ones.

Public activity[edit]

Almudena Grandes is a regular columnist of El País newspaper and broadcasting programs such as Cadena SER. She has been distinguished because of her left political position, having shown her public support for Izquierda Unida (a left-wing Spanish party). Because of this, in April 2007, she was one of the signatories of a manifesto, in which a group of intellectuals considered it unacceptable to commit acts of terrorism, in addition, during the demonstration after the ETA's T-4 of Adolfo Suarez Barajas airport attack,[3] she read the statement "For peace, life, liberty and against terrorism." That tragedy, in which two people died, was the end of the "ceasefire" that kept the terrorist organization in the negotiations between the government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the criminal organization.

Controversies[edit]

In March 2007, in the El corazón helado[4] book presentation, some writer's statements caused a great controversy: when she was asked if she would eradicate anything, [20] the writer jokingly said that she would silence two or three voices that riled her, according to some sources. [20] It was interpreted that the reference was directed to the right-winged radio announcers as Federico Jimenez Losantos. In the same presentation, Almudena Grandes also criticized the Partido Popular, saying that "we are in a country where the Spanish right is more reminiscent of the II Republic than the Franco regime", where it gets to claim the right to rule "by the grace of God" or "it has failed to react as a defeated political party, but as an expropriated landowner or someone who had his bag stolen."

One of the most prominent controversies which stood out in Grandes' literature, is found in her work Las tres bodas de Manolita, also inspired by the Spanish Civil War, in which one of the final scenes coincided (unexpectedly for the author) with reality. In the previously mentioned work, the author draws two main characters with two real historical figures: Franco Antonio González Pacheco (nicknamed Billy "el Niño") and the inspector Roberto Conesa. In July 1977 Martin Villa gave the police silver medal for Honorary Memberiship to former member of Franco's police force, Antonio González Pacheco, his successor. Commissioner Roberto Conesa, was the one who awarded him the gold police medal. This is exactly what happens in Grandes' Work, which mentioned both characters receiving merit badges for membership of Franco´s police force.

Ideological line of the author[edit]

The author Almudena Grandes is a regular columnist for the newspaper El País and a contributor for radio programs such as Cadena SER. She has distinguished herself due to her political positions, having shown her public support for Izquierda Unida above (for example, in the 2011 general elections). With regard to recent statements she has made about the current political situation in Spain, the author has claimed that for the general elections of 2015 "she has not opted for any party" since, in her view, none of them represent her ideology right now. During an interview in April in 2010, when she was asked since when she had started to become a supporter of the left, she answered that “like many other vital ideological issues within her mind, she was drawn towards the left through reading”.

The author also gives her opinion about Spanish society, which has become, as she says, dumb and vulgar. A society, in her view, which is unpleasant and insensitive, full of indifferent people who do not care about the suffering of others and is blinded by consumerism and materialism. In her last novel, Los besos en el pan (2015), she wrote about the Spanish crisis of 2008 and claimed that humility was the only way to get rid of it.

Books[edit]

Novels[edit]

Short story collections[edit]

External links[edit]

Film adaptations[edit]

  • Las edades de Lulú (by Bigas Luna, 1990)
  • Malena es un nombre de tango (by Gerardo Herrero, 1995)
  • Aunque tú no lo sepas (by Juan Vicente Córdoba, 2000)
  • Adaptation of the story «El vocabulario de los balcones», de su obra Modelos de mujer
  • Geografía del Deseo - adaptation of Atlas de Geografía Humana. (by María Izquierdo Huneeus, 2004)
  • Los aires difíciles (by Gerardo Herrero, 2006) Atlas de geografía humana (by Azucena Rodríguez, 2007)
  • Castillos de cartón (by Salvador García Ruiz, 2009)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emilie L. Bergman (2007): "Women Writers in Twentieth-Century Spain", in Mirrors and Echoes, Emilie L. Bergmann and Richard Herr (ed.). Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, page 2 [1]
  2. ^ Premio de literatura Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
  3. ^ "Eta claims Madrid airport attack". 
  4. ^ Grandes, Almudena (2007). El corazón helado. Tusquets. ISBN 978-84-8310-373-9. 
  5. ^ Briscoe, Joanna (29 July 2006). "It's an ill wind". The Guardian. London.