The year is ending and it is time to make a compilation of the books that have had the most impact in 2021.
The past year has been full of novelties literary of authors who write in Spanish both in Spain and in Latin America, books that have marked these months and of which the following ten have been selected:
.- ‘Tomás Nevison ‘, by Javier Marías (Alfaguara).– Set in Spain in 1997, Marías proposes a deep reflection in this novel, which follows “Berta Isla”, on the limits of what can and cannot be done, with historical episodes of terrorism from the IRA and ETA as a background .
.- ‘The beast’, by Carmen Mola (Planet).- The winning novel of the 2021 Planeta Prize, a historical “thriller” set in Madrid in 1834, came with controversy over its authorship since it was discovered that three male writers and screenwriters were hidden behind the female pseudo-term: Jorge Díaz, Antonio Mercero and Agustín Martínez.
.- ‘Los abismos’, by Pilar Quintana (Alfaguara).- In this novel, which won the Alfaguara 2021 prize, the Colombian author explores the interior of a family through the eyes of a girl, who tries to understand the conflictive relationship between her parents and thus speaks of motherhood by imposition Social.
.- ‘Sira’, by María Dueñas (Planet).- Twelve years after the successful “El tiempo entre costuras”, its protagonist, Sira, returned this year with this story that begins at the end of the Second World War and continues her experiences in Jerusalem, London, Madrid and Tangier through 648 pages in which, from the world of fashion and bosses, it passes to the radio waves and journalism, always as an alibi for its operations and clandestine missions.
.- ‘Diaries At times lost ‘, by Rafael Chirbes (Anagrama).- Six years after his death, in 2021 the first volume of these Chirbes memoirs was published from the annotations collected in various notebooks that cover the period from 1985, when he started as a writer, until 2005, shortly before of his already international consecration with “Crematorio”.
.- ‘The Italian’, by Arturo Pérez Reverte (Alfaguara).- A novel that tells a “story of love, sea and war” based on real events that occurred during the Second World War in Gibraltar and the bay of Algeciras when Italian combat divers sank or damaged fourteen allied ships.
.- ‘Los Vencejos’, by Fernando Aramburu (Tusquets).– On his return to the novel after his famous “Homeland”, Aramburu recounts in this book the last year of Toni, a high school teacher disappointed and angry with the world, who decides with coldness and determination to end his life after twelve months.
.- ‘Time without keys’, by Ida Vitale (Tusquets).- The Uruguayan writer, Cervantes Prize, has presented this collection of poems at 98 years old, in which she continues to show her admiration for life and objects loaded with history, verses in which she writes about the perception of time, the advent of old age and remembers lost beings.
.- ‘Clean Wheat’, Juan Manuel Gil (Seix Barral).- Brief Library Award, this novel narrates from humor the fascination for lost childhood in a suburb, while paying tribute to the power of storytelling and the refuge that reading implies.
.- ‘Mrs. Potter is not exactly Santa Claus’, by Laura Fernández (Random House Literature) .- Through a web of entanglements, intrigues and rumors, this book talks about literary creation, art as a refuge, the failure and loneliness of the misunderstood.
Books translated into Spanish
On the other hand, many literary novelties translated into Spanish have reached the bookstores in 2021, both from several Nobel Laureates and from other well-known writers throughout the world, of which The following ten books have been selected:
.- ‘The country of the others’ by Leila Slimani (Cabaret Voltaire).– Voted best fiction book 2021 by the Madrid and Catalonia Booksellers Guilds, this novel tells the story of the marriage formed by a young Alsatian woman and a Moroccan soldier in the 1950s. All the characters live in “the country of others” But women, above all, must constantly fight for their emancipation.
.- ‘The desired’, by Maryse Condé (Impedimenta).– Account of three generations of island women united by the force of blood, abuse and violence, in the journey that the protagonist, Marie-Noëlle, begins from Guadeloupe to France, passing through the United States, with unwanted maternity and men of doubtful morals.
.- ‘The Empire of Pain’, by Patrick Radden Keefe (Reservoir Books).- This New Yorker journalist, currently considered one of the greatest exponents of world narrative journalism, discovers the scandalous story behind the Sackler dynasty, one of the richest families in the world, as well as the controversial origin of their money to through your pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma.
.- ‘Paraíso’, by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Salamander) .- There were few copies in Spanish of the novels of the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature when the jury’s decision that recognized this Tanzanian writer was known, until this novel was published, a story of love and friendship, loyalties and disloyalty, in a African society in full mutation.
.- ‘Chronicles from the happiest country on earth’, by Wole Soyinka (Alfaguara).- The first African and the first black writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1986, returned to fiction after almost fifty years with a work in which he calls for mobilization against the abuse of power.
.- ‘Crossroads’, by Jonathan Franzen, (Salamandra) .- The first installment of a trilogy about the American family and society of the last three decades through a family from the Midwest during a period of deep moral crisis. Russ Hildebrandt, a pastor at a progressive suburban church, is about to break free from a marriage he considers unhappy, unless his wife Marion, who also leads a secret life, anticipates him.
.- ‘Klara and the sun’, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Anagram).- It was the first novel published by the British writer, born in Nagasaki in 1954 and author of works such as “What remains of the day” (Booker Prize) or “The inconsolables” (Cheltenham Prize), after being awarded in 2017 with the Nobel Prize in Literature, a work written from the perspective of an AA, an Artificial Friend, that explores the essence of the human.
.- ‘Shuggie Bain Story’, Douglas Stuart (Sixth Floor).– Moving story of a son determined to save his mother at all costs and set in the early eighties in a Glasgow that is dying over the policies of Margaret Thatcher.
.- ‘The immortal flame of Stephen Crane’, by Paul Auster (Seix Barral).– The American writer traces the fleeting and intense life of the writer Stephen Crane during the years in which the United States went from being the country of Billy the Child to becoming Rockefeller’s America.
.- ‘Where are you, beautiful world’, by Sally Rooney (Random House Literature).– The latest novel by this Irish writer, fashion author between millennials and generation Z, tells the story of Alice and Eileen, two friends with very different backgrounds who are approaching their thirties and who begin to see life with different eyes.