From Galatea to Barbie

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From Galatea to Barbie
LdT
Foreign
rights
2009
The
Publisher’s
Letter
Dearest friends,
It’s been a hard year, it continues to be a hard year, but we continue in the breach,
betting on excellent authors capable of resisting crisis, earthquakes, hurricanes, or any
other type of cataclysm.
This year we have the pleasure of publishing two authors who have stood out in the
Spanish narrative of the last few years: Luis Racionero, and José María Mijangos. Of
the former, we are rescuing The Country That Never Was (El país que no fue), his first
novel published in 1982. Its protagonist is a young troubadour, Cercamon, witness
to the agony of the civilization between Provence and Catalonia. Of the latter, we are
publishing a previously unpublished novel, Soul Man, where he narrates with irony the
turn of events of a young African American in the Francoist Madrid of the 1960s.
From Joaquín Rodríguez we are publishing his first novel, Midday in Mytilene (Mediodía en Mitilene), a beautiful revindication of utopia. Miguel-Anxo Murado presents to
us from Galicia a collection of short stories, The Fever’s Dream (El sueño de la fiebre),
about delirium as a creating force.
Furthermore we are publishing new novels from already-known authors of our Publishing House: The Motherland of the Basques (La patria de todos los vascos), by Iban
Zaldua; and The Status (El estatus), by Alberto Olmos.
And I cannot end this without mentioning two passionate and original essays: Everyone Grows up Except Peter: The creation of a myth by J. M. Barrie (Todos crecen menos
Peter. La creación de un mito por J. M. Barrie), by Silvia Herreros de Tejada; and From
Galatea to Barbie: Automatons, robots and other figures of the feminine construction
(Desde Galatea a Barbie. Autómatas, robots y otras figuras de la construcción femenina).
Happy reading,
Pote Huerta
Midday in Mytilene
Joaquín Rodríguez
Mediodía en Mitilene / novel / 224 pp.
There’s a city in Lesbos, Mytilene, great and beautiful, as it is divided by canals through which the sea
water tamely penetrates, adorned with bridges of
white, polished stone; one would believe he was not
seeing a city but instead an island…
Since his voluntary exile to Madeira, Max, the protagonist of Mediodía en Mitilene, balances his own
lifes and the lifes of those with whom he has felt
like a part of something. In this novel, this periphery Atlantic island functions like a reflection of the
protagonist’s situation: isolated, exotic (Max’s emotional formation happens in the extinct Democratic
Germany), an ideal territory for exhuming old guilt.
And in this setting his reencounter with Rebeca will
take place, who is in turn the victim and executioner
of her own betrayals. Forgetfulness, compassion,
and love, as a last resort, will be the key that Max
shows Rebecca in order to arrive together, at last, in
Mytilene.
When a totalitarian system manages to change our
perception of good and bad, betrayal and trust,
what responsibility do we have for our own actions?
Who can endure that kind of pressure? The characters of this book find the solution in exile. The only
revindication: the right to utopia.
Joaquín Rodríguez, Doctor
of Sociology, is a renowned Spaniard in the debate
about the future of books. His
career has always centred
around publishing, whether
as editor of some of the most
prestigious publishing houses
in Spain, or forming future
professionals from his position
as director of the Masters
in Publishing Program at
the University of Salamanca
and Santillana Group. All of
this cultural knowledge has
translated into rich essayist literature. In the narrative field,
he made his debut with the
collection of short stories Las
mujeres que vuelan (Lengua
de Trapo, 2007). Mediodía
en Mitilene is his first published novel.
LdT Fiction
3
The Fever’s Dream
Miguel Murado
El sueño de la fiebre / short stories / 176 pp.
Miguel-Anxo Murado (Lugo,
1965) is the author of an
abundant body of work,
primarily in the Galician language, consisting of narrative
books, essays, poetry and
theatre. Among his works
translated to Spanish, his
recent work Fin de siglo en
Palestina stands out and was
considered Book of the Year
2008 by the Galician Association of Editors.
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LdT Fiction
The protagonist of this book is the fever, as if a living
being, an image that the author uses to connect
stories, sometimes poetic, sometimes disturbing.
A vanilla plantation in the old colony of Spanish
Guinea, the apparition of a mysterious marine
animal on the Galician coasts of the 16th century, a fierce wolf hunt that ends up becoming the
symbol of the Spanish Civil War, the metaphoric
story of a miracle in the Palestine of the Second
Intifada… Different times and places superimpose themselves in this book like variations of the
same theme, the theme of delirium as a creating
force. More than a compendium of short stories it
is a unitary book in which, as one of its characters
says, it is the reader’s job to find the secret thread
that ties the stories together.
All the Drunkards
of My Life
Nuria Labari
Los borrachos de mi vida / short stories / 192 pp.
Although this collection is correctly titled Los borrachos de mi vida, the title of one of its short stories, it
could very well be said that the secret thread that runs
through them could be named after another one of
the stories, “How to Get Drenched Without Being
in the Rain” (“Cómo empaparse sin ver la lluvia”).
Nuria Labari’s characters are an instruction manual
on how to not confront an aggressive and complex
world that always demands an answer, a quick and
effective reflection. The incapacity to learn from our
own mistakes, to break free from the vicious cycles,
is captured in these stories with surprising clarity.
The readers of this collection of short stories will be
surprised by the amazing command that this young
writer has over the genre, but beyond the excellent
turnover of the stories throbs a sentimental learning
that filters between the pages of this book.
A panel of judges, composed of Luis Landero, Ray Loriga and Soledad Puértolas, awarded Nuria Labari’s
work, Los borrachos de mi vida the VII Premio de
Narrativa Caja Madrid.
Nuria Labari (Santander,
1979) studied Political
Science at the University of
the Basque Country, International Relations at the Ortega
y Gasset University Institute
and Literary Creation at the
Contemporary School of
Humanities in Madrid. She
has worked as a journalist in
such magazines as La Modificación and Marie Claire, as
well as the information site
elmundo.es. She is currently
working as the editor in chief
of telecinco.es.
LdT Fiction
5
Soul Man
José María Mijangos
Soul Man / novel / 320 pp. (aprox.)
José María Mijangos lives in
Madrid. He has published the
following novels; El rey de
Prosperidad (1999); Curso de
asesinos por correspondencia
(2003) y Braille para sordos
(2006).
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LdT Fiction
Soul Man narrates the adventures of a young African American man who lands in the chaotic Madrid of the 1960s and achieves ephemeral success as a musician. As if in a picaresque tale, he
must keep his wits about him to survive in a completely unknown country to which he continues to
adapt with his peculiar and destructive personality.
An anarchic tale, as well as amusing and sarcastic, about the musical passion of a maladjusted
individual who does nothing more than provoke
destruction.
We continue following the life of Cleophus Brown
from his birth in Memphis to his last adventure in
Madrid, the search for his absent father, his connection to an overprotective mother, his close friendship with a narcoleptic troublemaker, and the many
misdeeds he commits during his erratic existence. The story of Black music, from the old-fashion
78rpm discs of the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s
until today. Narrated in the key of tragicomedy,
alternating between hilarious and touching moments, Cleophus’ life shows us the era in which he
lived with an analogous splendour.
Cercamón.
The Country That
Never Was
Cubierta en preparación.
Luis Racionero
Cercamón. El país que no fue / novel / 340 pp.
This novel – originally written in Catalan and winner of the Premi Prudencia Bertrana 1981 – seeks to reflect the rise and fall of a civilization that
extended from the city of Rodan to the Ebro river,
with the Pyrenees mountains as its spinal column.
Pope Silvester XI arrived there in 1000 AD to learn
mathematics, and the Doge of Venice, Pietro Orseolo, retired there; the Abbot Oliva founded the
Truce of God, and hundreds of painters, sculptors
and artists built the wonder of Roman art. Cercamon is a young troubadour apprentice who lives
in the agony of this civilization, devastated by the
invasion of warriors from the North. If Cercamon
is, literally, he who is searching the world, Esclarmonda, his ideal troubadour, is the light of the
Cathar world; both weave their destiny within the
macabre remains of the Inquisition and the war
unleashed by the French Crusade.
This book, a poem in novel prose, can be read as
an autobiography of the collective subconscious
and, at the same time, as a fascinating book of
knight tales.
Luis Racionero i Grau (Lérida, Spain, 1940) studied
Engineering and Economics
and the University of Barcelona and at the University of
California, Berkeley. He was
the director of the National
Library of Spain, and the
Spanish College in Paris.
He has collaborated with
such newspapers as El País,
La Vanguardia and sports
publications such as Mundo
Deportivo. He has written as
much in Catalan as he has in
Spanish. El país que no fue,
first published in 1982, is his
first novel.
LdT Fiction
7
Cubierta en preparación.
The Motherland of
the Basques
Iban Zaldua
La patria de todos los vascos / novel / 256 pp.
(aprox).
Iban Zaldua (San Sebastián,
1966) is a professor at the
University of the Basque
Country in Victoria. Among
his previous works: Gezurrak,
gezurrak, gezurrak (2000,
translation to Spanish, Mentiras, mentiras, mentiras published by Lengua de Trapo),
Traizioak (2001), La isla de
los antropólogos y otros relatos (Lengua de Trapo, 2002),
Itzalak (2004), all collections
of short stories; his essays
about literature Obabatiko
tranbia (2002), and Anamalia disekatuak (2005); and
the novel Si Sabino viviría
(Lengua de Trapo, 2005). He
is a regular collaborator in
diverse mediums of communication. La patria de todos los
vascos is his latest novel.
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LdT Fiction
Joseba Anabitarte is a professor of Basque Philosophy. The same day that ETA (Basque Homeland and
Freedom) declares the end of its last cease fire, he
decides that he is sick of the Basque conflict and that
he needs to get away from the country at all costs,
as far away as possible, preferably to some place
where he won’t find a single compatriot. And the
opportunity arises: teaching a course about Basque
history and culture at the University of Alaska. But
what is Joseba really running away from? Is it really possible to escape, even by going so far away?
And, above all, does he know what he’s going to
face when he begins to teach his classes to a dozen
American students who can’t even find the Basque
Country on a map?
A desperate comedy, a mocking tragedy, a post-national melodrama in times of globalization; it may
be that La patria de todos los vascos is a little of
each, nothing of each, or – why not? – everything
at once.
A Praise to
Mendacity
Ignacio Mendiola
Elogio de la mentira / non-fiction / 176 pp. /
Italian translation rights already sold to Marco Troppea
How much truth can we handle?
We need to rethink our understanding of the lie in
our modern day society, to travel through its ambivalence, review the multiple faces it takes on. Beyond
the moral condemnation usually associated with
lying, Ignacio Mendiola confronts us with evidence
that lying is not something we can view as separate
from us, indeed it never has been. He reveals the
lies we have been told about lying.
As Gonzalo Abril correctly indicates in the work’s
prologue, this essay allows us to travel through “a
rich gallery of sociological knowledge, of literary
and film readings, of intellection experiences of
every type” with those that uncover lies, like a subtle
and sinuous presence around us, that safeguard us
from the illogicality of life, that allow us to shelter
ourselves from a harsh and inhospitable reality.
This essay gives us the key to understanding the complex tapestry of the relationships that surround us,
while brilliantly vindicating our rights from the lies.
Ignacio Mendiola (Santurtzi,
1970) holds a Doctorate in
Sociology and is a professor
at the University of the Basque
Country. His lines of investigation have centred on the
way in which processes of
subjectification are configured
in contemporary society.
LdT Non-fiction
9
Everybody Grows
Up Except Peter
The creation of Peter Pan´s myth by J. M.
Barrie
Silvia Herreros
Todos crecen menos Peter. La creación del mito de
Peter Pan por J. M. Barrie / non-fiction / 208 pp.
Silvia Herreros de Tejada
(1975) holds a degree in
English, a Masters in Comparative Literature, and a
degree in Screenplay Writing
from the Community of
Madrid Cinematographic and
Audiovisual School (ECAM).
She has written screenplays
for full-length films at La Zona
Films and other production
companies, and has worked as a dialogue writer for
television series. She directs
documentaries for Canal +
and Documentos TV, she is
a script analyst for TVE and
for soap operas at Ediciones
B. Todos crecen menos Peter,
which was awarded with the
VII Premio de Ensayo Caja
Madrid, is her first book.
10 LdT Non-fiction
Everyone knows who Peter Pan is. Or they think they
do. Since he first appeared, the character Peter Pan
has become a myth, a being that seemed to belong
to the collective consciousness, to the ancestral imagination. At least that’s what his creator wanted for
him. This essay transcends the image of the syndrome named for that immortal boy, and is centred in
the complex psyche of the writer, J. M. Barrie, who
constructs his story with the material which dreams
are made of. Or nightmares.
Removed from harm, Everyone Grows Up Except Peter (Todos crecen menos Peter) is a passionate essay
about an author who consciously sacrificed himself
on his own creation. Silvia Herreros de Tejada delves into the folds of this (always) perverse relationship between the creator and the creation in order to
open new routes in an endless work: Peter Pan.
“It is as if long after writing Peter Pan its true meaning came to me; desperate attempt to grow up,
but can’t”.
J. M. Barrie
From Galatea to
Barbie
Automatons, robots and other figures of
the feminine construction
Cubierta provisional.
VV
AA
De Galatea a Barbie. Autómatas, robots y
otras figuras de la construcción femenina /
non-fiction / 400 pp
The story of Pygmalion and Galatea is one of those
literary Greek myths with a long history that have
profoundly influenced our cultural tradition. The legend of the idealistic sculptor, disillusioned by human love, who creates the perfect woman and falls
in love with her has permeated European ideology
ever since the Renaissance. But this myth has many
earlier and later implications for our tradition: the
construction of the ideal woman, magical, mechanical or robotic, has been reflected in science fiction, cinema, literature, the arts, and even popular
culture. And so, a long series of automatons, feminine robots or monstrous devourers of men have
proliferated as figures for fiction and reflection. This
book provides a forum of debate about this topic
from various points of view: science and robotics,
philosophy, classic and modern literature, cinema,
visual arts, and finally the impact of these ideas on
society and mankind today.
David Hernández de la Fuente
and Fernando Broncano
are the coordinators of this
anthology of articles. David
Hernández de la Fuente is
a writer and professor of
Classic Literature at the Carlos
III University of Madrid. He
is part of the editorial team
at National Geographic
History and just published the
book Oráculos griegos with
Alianza Editorial, which has
received great praise from the
critics. Fernando Broncano
is Department Head of Logic
and Philosophy of Science
at the Carlos III University of
Madrid and has published
numerous books and articles
within his specialty.
LdT Non-fiction
11
Shark in Formol
Notes on the contemporary art market
Luis
Racionero
El tiburón en formol. Apuntes sobre el nuevo
mercado del arte / non-fiction / 256 pp. (aprox)
Luis Racionero i Grau (Lérida, Spain, 1940) studied
Engineering and Economics
and the University of Barcelona and at the University of
California, Berkeley. He was
the director of the National
Library of Spain, and the
Spanish College in Paris.
He has collaborated with
such newspapers as El País,
La Vanguardia and sports
publications such as Mundo
Deportivo. He has written as
much in Catalan as he has in
Spanish. El país que no fue,
first published in 1982, is his
first novel.
12 LdT Non-fiction
This new and polemic essay of Luis Racionero tries
to answer the questions that merge when confronting the contemporary art market. Has the audience
been left behind? Is it right that the definition of what
is art and what not is only decided by art dealers
and the artists themselves? With the contemporary
art market as a background, the author examines
too a wide range of delusions that inhabit our world:
from the artistic ecosystem to the high fliers financial
sharks that brought us to the global crisis we are
living right now.
“To understand the use value on has to start from a
definition of what is art. This definition has, though,
been carefully destroyed and discredited by anvantgardes. Art is the language of emotions, a dialectic between the object and its recipient; it transform
this recipient’s state of mind increasing his vitality,
his emotional tension and his intuition. If criteria
are over, how can we decide what is art and what
isn’t?”
LdT
Backlist
Cristina Cerrada
Cristina Cerrada (Madrid, 1970) has a degree in Sociology and coordinates various short fiction and novel-writing courses. Recently she
has been awarded the Ateneo Joven de Sevilla Novel Award by Calor
de Hogar, S.A. [Home Warmth Ltd.]. She has received the Casa de
América award, the Caja Madrid award and the NH award for Best
Short Story. In 2008 she was also awarded the XIV Premio Lengua
de Trapo de Novela for La mujer calva [The Bald Woman]. Lengua
de Trapo has also published her short story collections Noctámbulos
[Nightwalkers], in 2003, and Compañía [Company], in 2004.
The Bald Woman
La mujer calva / novel / 192 pp.
La mujer calva is an uncomplicated story, which
doesn’t mean simple, in which Lailja, the main
character, has to take her ill mother into her
house after her father passed away. In her life,
the deceitful and contradictory memories that
nourish her continuous lies will be renewed. But
she cannot remain inactive: she has to decide
for herself and complete a circle that will reconcile her with herself. That uneven balance upon
which she had built her life isn’t there anymore.
With an exquisite technique and an impeccable
knowledge of the genre, it’s the management of the motives that inhabit her stories
that made the critics, and a select public, celebrate her work. A moving layout of
domestic life, solitude in the core of partnership, commitment or the failure of it.
14 LdT Backlist
Nightwalkers
Noctámbulos / short stories / 160 pp.
The short stories in Noctámbulos present a group of people
gathered together in a common urban space: the crossroads. They populate alleyways, late night bars and hotels, offices, hospitals and homes where living together is
difficult. The absence of will and decisiveness defines their
behaviour, taking them to the edge of the abyss where they
appear condemned to hang forever; an abyss populated
with conflict, with intense life.
Company
Compañía / short stories / 160 pp.
Obsessive processes, miscommunication, egoism and the
denial of reality; heartbreak or love confused with feelings
of rejection, violence or repulsion; the acceptance of a fate
supposedly imposed but in reality sought after, unconsciously and almost fatally craved; the confusion of the real
feelings they have... These short stories form a choral work
on the loneliness of our times. Following the path set by
the greatest musicians and writers, Cristina Cerrada’s raw
material is silence.
Lasting Alliances
Alianzas duraderas / novel / 320 pp.
Bernabé Leblanc looks upon the disaster his existence has
become with humour and irony. Expelled from his post as
an Anthropology Researcher at the university, the only job
he is able to find is a rubbish bin supervisor. Marriage and
infidelity, commitment and break-up, success and failure all
intersect in the brilliant and fresh prose of Cristina Cerrada’s
novel. The distant gaze of the anthropologist captures, as if
it were an experiment, the various manifestations of adaptive difficulty so characteristic of our “peaceful” society.
LdT Backlist
15
Manuel García
Rubio
Manuel García Rubio (Montevideo, 1956) is one of the most interesting and original novelists of contemporary Spanish narrative.
To date he has published six novels, five of which were published
by Lengua de Trapo: Green, España, España, Las fronteras invisibles [Invisible Borders], among others. Sal [Salt] is without doubt
the pinnacle of his literary career.
Salt
Sal / novel / 512 pp. / Finalist of the Fundación Lara Award.
Urbano Expósito, an unpublished screenwriter, would
like to be sure he wants what he wants. Tino, on the
other hand, is sure he wants what he wants. Selmo,
finally, wants whatever they want. Different lives,
each one sets out on its own journey that Urbano,
now an apprentice novelist, tries to document. By
then, however, Mrs. Gladstone will have interrupted the story, and the narration is redirected, transformed, it becomes something new, unexpected,
and in the end, mysterious; but also terrible.
Sal doesn’t fail to surprise from the first line to
the last, where the light is found that will illuminate everything. Just reading a few pages will be
enough to take note of the rich, distinct prose, but
there is much more to this novel: characters of flesh
and bone, formidable stories, reflection and metaliterature, and above all a tender, disconsolate look at human beings in these «liquid»
times, as one philosopher put it.
“Every ingredient of Salt fits perfectly to its purpose. A story that keeps the reader always
interested” (Ernesto Ayala-Dip, El País).
16 LdT Backlist
The Age of Bacterias
La edad de las bacterias / novel / 256 pp.
Young Ricardo Escalante escapes his humble origins by
chance and becomes chancellor of the Spanish Embassy
at Montevideo at the age of thirty. It’s the year 1970. In
Uruguay, his conventional existence will be run over by the
tricks of the North American delegates. They are eager to
discover the identity of an elusive third man who seems to
be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. He is also a
victim of a dark diplomatic intrigue.
Green
Green / novel / 224 pp. / Translation rights
sold to: Greece (Opera)
This is the true history of Green, a monkey captured in the
rainforest by an anthropologist anxious to demonstrate
that animals are capable of language, and also the story
of his life among human beings, exactly as Green himself
told it throughout many working sessions. A very funny
and original update of the picaresque genre, full of stories
and unexpected references that will surprise the reader at
the turn of every page.
The Invisible Borders
Las fronteras invisibles / novel / 128 pp.
Enrique Acevedo and Rocío meet again by accident. When
both were very young, they shared a brief and superficial
friendship. Now, the reunion causes confused feelings to
rise in Enrique that reveal a deep discomfort with his own
overly accomodated life. Soon he will know why. His talk
with Rocío brings him back to those “happy” days when
he was studying to be a judge. This is a simple and cruel
story. A description of our own time, where the precise
geometry of his composition is proof of unique lucidity of
human intelligence.
LdT Backlist 17
Alberto Olmos
Alberto Olmos (Segovia, 1975) sets a new standard in Spanish
literature. He won the Herralde novel award in 1998 with A bordo
del naufragio [Aboard the Shipwreck]. Two years later his second
novel, Así de loco te puedes volver [That’s How Crazy You Can
Get], was published. Following his three-year residence in Japan,
Lengua de Trapo published Trenes hacia Tokio [Trains bound for
Tokyo], El talento de los demás [The Talent of Others] and Tatami
(2008). El estatus [The Status] is his last novel.
The
Status
El estatus / novel / 192 pp.
A woman arrives with her twelve-year-old daughter
at the apartment where her husband wants them
to live while he is away on his unusually long business trips. Very soon, they discover that they are
alone in the building except for an angry and taciturn doorman, her husband’s strange employee
who visits them repeatedly, and the cleaning lady.
Such is the cast of this sociological ghost story, or
this ghostly exploration of society.
Maids, chauffeurs, housekeepers, servants, cooks,
waiters, horse caretakers, gardeners, butlers, footmen, horse trainers, nannies, ladies-in-waiting, indendants, laundry women, janitors,
administrators, carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, doormen, language tutors, thinks
Mother Clara, the book open in her lap to the same page it’s been on for two days,
in the end the world will devour and dominate us.
18 LdT Backlist
Tatami
Tatami / novel / 128 pp.
During the long flight between Madrid and Tokyo, a strange, outlandish, and brazen passenger begins to tell Olga, a
young woman, his story: the story of a Peeping Tom.
Olga listens, questions, remains aloof, but she is also drawn
in by the perversity of it all: she does and doesn’t want to
hear, she does and doesn’t want to know.
The Talent of Others
El talento de los demás / novel / 320 pp.
Mario Sut believes he’s got it all: he’s a violin virtuoso. But
one day he loses his talent. He becomes a normal person,
and everyone around him starts to seem brilliant. El Talento
de los demás explores fascinating lives, abnormal situations
and fabulous competitions. It examines reality from an uncharted perspective: behind each person is a possibility, a dazzling force. No one is who they want to be, but then again,
the winners never knew what they wanted to be either.
Trains Bound for Tokio
Trenes hacia Tokio / novel / 192 pp.
Trenes hacia Tokio composes a hallucinating scenery of life
in a country far away home, a meticulous narration of the
lesser-known daily life: the one that hides the emotional armour of society. A minimalistic narration, where language is
applied to the narration until the spark of irony, the poetic
flame, ignites.
“A curious and ironic look at a country in constant movement, contradicting and at times extravagant” (Silvia Blanco, EP3, El País).
LdT Backlist
19
Óscar Calavia
Óscar Calavia was born in Logroño in 1959 and lives in Brazil
since 1986. He is a professor of Anthropology and has written
a good number of books and essays on themes regarding his
special field of study. Las botellas del señor Klein [Mister Klein’s
Bottles] is the first work of fiction he has published.
Mister Klein’s
Bottles
Las botellas del señor Klein / novel / 192 pp.
/ Translation rights sold to: Italy (Excelsior
1881) / Tigre Juan Award to the Best First
Novel Published in 2008.
An Asian hired-assassin from Lavapiés is charged
with prostituting seven tiny women. Seven bullies
chase after a beautiful wife to make her pay off
his husband’s debt. A man is kidnapped and forced to witness how the whole body of a woman
is tattooed. A woman enters a hotel and asks for
Mister Klein, but who is Mister Klein? Mister Klein,
the multiple character of this novel, slides along it
like a magical being, hard to grasp, unknown for
the fact of being so known: a revolutionary pornographer, an exquisite glazier, an
absurd anthropologist, the narrator of this story or even its reader. Mister Klein is all
of them and none of them. Óscar Calavia creates a unique fiction, an underground
story that goes across the lives of its characters leaving the reader with the fascinating
task of placing the last piece of this extraordinary narrative puzzle.
20 LdT Backlist
Mister Klein’s
Bottles explained
to the Infidels.
[An excerpt]
Once upon a time, a long time ago, when
Baghdad was the richest and happiest city,
mirror of the Earth, there was a sultan named Schariar who reigned. He was wise
and just, but a misfortune that he suffered
in his first marriage made him harbor a
cruel hate toward the treachery and disloyalty of women: he decided to marry a
maiden each day and have her killed the
following morning, after the nuptial night.
And so he did, planting anxiety amongst
the parents and withering the flowers
of the city, until only the daughter of his
great vizier was left, a virgin, adorned
with equal parts beauty and shrewdness,
whose name was Scheherezade. Going
against her father’s tears, who wanted to
hide her to save her life, Scheherezade
willing offered herself in marriage to the
sultan. On the first night, before going to
bed, she entertained her husband with a
story whose plot was so subtle and intricate that daybreak surprised the couple
before she could finish.
The sultan, not wanting to deprive himself
of hearing the end of the story, dismissed
the executioner, postponing the execution
for a day. But Scheherezade was the possessor of innumerable tales, and night
after night she delighted her husband
with the tale of Aladdin and his lamp,
and the Bronze City, and the one about
Ali Baba, and Kamaralzaman, and the
Beautiful Wisdom, and the one about
the First Kalendar, about the barber who
told his brother’s story of the king’s jester
who died choking on a fish bone. And
the barber in the story had seven brothers, each one with his own tales, from
which sprouted new tales, and there were
three other Kalendar with their barbers or
their tailors or their jesters and all their
brothers, and so the nights passed, and
Schariar always left the executioner with
his sabre waiting for the next day.
And so he continued, each time more devoted to his wife’s mouth and command,
until one night Scheherezade began her
narration like every other night, and said:
Once upon a time, a long time ago,
when Baghdad was the richest and happiest city, mirror of the Earth, there was
a sultan who reigned. He was wise and
just, but the unfortunate history of his first
marriage made him harbor a cruel hate
toward the implacable and jealous nature
of women: he decided to marry a maiden
each day, and the nuptial night, instead of
taking her into his arms, he would tell her
that he didn’t feel the desire to go to bed,
and demand that she entertain him by telling him a tale never heard before.
The wives were too young to excel at this
art: and for as much as they tried to learn
the stories of the old women in their families by heart, sooner or later the sultan
began to yawn, and the next morning he
had the women killed, still virgins. And so
he did for a long time, planting anxiety
amongst the parents and withering the
flowers of the city, until only the daughter of
a widower was left, a modest glassmaker,
who made bottles for the palace. She was
a virgin adorned with equal parts beauty and modesty, but her humility was so
great, and her home life so solitary, that
she simply did not have any tales to tell:
the time she had left after doing her chores was spent polishing the bottles that her
father had just made. Even knowing that
she was walking towards certain death,
when she was called to the palace, she
obeyed the orders of her sultan and her
father, collected her wedding attire and
headed towards her engagement.
Selected Titles
Hypnos Javier Azpeitia
Hipnos / novel / 192 pp. / Translation rights sold to: France
(Jean Claude Lattès), Greece (Opera) and Russia (Fluid).
Adaptation rights for cinema: sold. Hammett Award.
A young female psychiatrist has to face up to the coarse methods applied by her colleagues in the clinic where she works,
to the patients and to her own past.
“A limpid, involving novel about Machiavellian manipulation
and the universe of the phantasmal. Hipnos reveals itself to be
a surprise in the reappearance of foreign literature” (Thomas
Regnière, Le Figaro).
Lizards Smell Like Grass
Cristina Sánchez Andrade
Las lagartijas huelen a hierba / novel / 160 pp.
Las lagartijas huelen a hierba is at once a beautiful and terrifying piece of work. Cristina Sánchez-Andrade incorporates
the lyricism and coarseness of traditional European folk tales
with the Spanish novel in a fairytale without a moral that, like
Kafka’s nightmares or Valle-Inclán’s grotesque musings, tells
us that life is drama and goodness is always suspicious.
Silences Karla Suárez
Silencios / novel / 240 pp. / Translation rights sold to: France
(Métaillé), Italy (Besa; Guanda), Germany (Rowohlt), Portugal (ASA) and Slovenia (Zalozbatoga).
V Lengua de Trapo Award.
Karla Suárez has written a revealing tale about contemporary Cuban history and society, narrated with direct and lucid
language. This is the first novel by a talented young writer
who has a bright future ahead.
“Suárez’s book portrays with extraordinary accuracy the family
unit and, why not?, society, too” (Luis de la Peña, El País).
22 LdT Backlist
The Best Thing That Can Happen
to a Croissant Pablo Tusset
Lo mejor que le puede pasar a un cruasán / novel / 160 pp.
/ Italy (Feltrinelli), France (Michalon), World English (Canongate), Germany (Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt), Croatia
(Naklada), Portugal (Ambar), Sweden (Norstedts Förlag),
Russia (Amphora), Greece (Opera), Holland (Prometheus),
Finland (Sammako), Brazil (W11 Editores), Poland (Amber), Catalonia (Columna), Czech Republic (Garamond),
Israel (Keter Books) Slovenia (Zamik). Adaptation rights to
cinema: sold. XXIV Tigre Juan Award.
Pablo Baloo Miralles, a bulky Internet philosopher in his thirties, degenerate and scrounging, stumbles across a mystery in
the heart of a posh Barcelona neighbourhood. Pablo’s brother has been kidnapped and he is obliged to search for him
over the whole city.
What Wise Children
Don’t Say Vital Citores
Lo que callan los niños sabios / novel / 224 pp. / Translation rights sold to: France (Jean Claude Lattès), Greece
(Opera), Russia (Fluid). Adaptation rights for cinema: sold.
Hammett Prize.
A mysterious tenant whose trace was lost after the suicide of
all his neighbours. A series of night disappearances with a
tragic ending. A boy living in a distressing situation clutches
onto hope with an anonymous hidden message and agrees
to keep quiet it order to save himself.
Shout
Ricardo
Menéndez Salmón
Gritar / short stories / 128 pp. / Translation rights sold to:
Italy (Marcos&Marcos).
The nine stories in Gritar are the validation of one of the most
delightful, honest and original writers in Spanish narrative. Ricardo Menéndez Salmón masterfully creates nine worlds of his
own where prose is the secret weapon that multiplies voices and
illuminates the dark corners where real literature hides.
“An impeccable prose in its classical face, with an appropriate exploitation of different sources from the oral narration” (El
Mundo).
LdT Backlist
23
Leticia
Sigarrostegui
Leticia Sigarrostegui (Madrid, 1975) is the daughter of a Spanish
mother and a Peruvian father. After finishing her studies in German
Literature she went to Denmark. She currently lives in Germany.
She published her first novel, Álvaro fue [Álvaro was], in 2007
with Lengua de Trapo. Mariposas en el estómago [Butterflies in her
stomach] is her second novel.
Butterflies in her
Stomach
Mariposas en el estómago / novel / 192 pp.
Mariposas en el estómago is a first person account of the
experience of a woman who fails to become pregnant via
in vitro fertilisation. But it is also the story of the turbulent
and desperate love affair the protagonist throws herself into,
trying to fill the emptiness that threatens to engulf her. These
two obsessions — motherhood, with the oppressive environment it generates, and a love unrequited — propel this lucid
exploration of the limits one is capable of transgressing with respect to oneself. This is
the story of the scars these wounds leave behind when we exceed our limits.
Álvaro Was
Álvaro fue / novel / 384 pp.
Álvaro, a young Spanish aid worker, dies in Peru in the middle
of a shoot-out between the military and the rebels. Murder?
Accident? Around Álvaro’s dark death spins the world of three
women of raw sensibilities: his mother, Beatriz, without a life
to call her own, unwilling to come to terms with the loss; Carolina, his ex-girlfriend, willing to give up everything, including
herself, to know the truth; and Natalia, his little sister, victim of
a lack of communication and loneliness.
24 LdT Backlist
Rafael Reig
Born in Asturias in 1963, he lived in Colombia during his childhood.
Reig teaches Literature at Saint Louis University (Madrid). He writes
regularly for newspapers and online magazines and has published
several novels. Loved by his readers for many years for his unique,
imaginative and intelligent fiction, he got official recognition with
his novel Sangre a borbotones [Blood on the Saddle] which won
the Asturian Critics Award (Apolo Prize) and became finalist of the
2003 Premio Fundación Lara, Spain’s top literary prize.
Blood on the Saddle
Sangre a borbotones / novel / 192 pp. / Translation rights sold
to: Germany (Rogner&Bernhardt), World English (Serpent’s
Tail) and Italy (Marotta&Caffiero).
A sort of Madrilenian Blade Runner filmed by Woody Allen, where
Rafael Reig fuses comedy, thriller, science fiction and western, it
upsets the perception of reality and fiction like a hard drug, thanks
to its overflowing humour, critical intelligence, moral dilemma and
narrative precision...
Pretty Face
Guapa de cara / novel / 224 pp. / Translation rights sold to:
World English (Serpent’s Tail).
Lola Eguíbar, a writer, has just been shot to death. And now, with
the inevitable uneasiness of being an intangible ghost, she starts
looking into her own murder, with the help of Benito Viruta, the
main character of her childrens books. Reig now gives us the moral raw, sore, critical X-ray of the 60s generation.
Marilyn Monroe’s Autobiography
Autobiografía de Marilyn Monroe / novel / 192 pp. Translation
rights sold to: Portugal (Pergaminho/Bico de Pena).
The most intimate details about Marilyn’s life are well known to
the general public. Nonetheless, this is the first time we have the
chance to read the interior part of Marilyn as a woman.
Other books by Rafael Reig: Captain Carpeto’s Deeds [Hazañas del capitán Carpeto]
/ novel / 192 pp. and The Omega Formula [La fórmula Omega] / novel / 192 pp.
LdT Backlist
25
Juan AparicioBelmonte
Juan Aparicio-Belmonte (London, 1971) has a degree in Law. His
first novel Mala suerte [Bad Luck] is the winner of the I Caja Madrid Narrative Prize. It was also awarded the Memorial Silverio
Cañada in its third edition, which is given at the Gijón’s Semana
Negra to the first and best detective novel written in Spanish during 2003.
The Crazy Circle of Drunken Birds
El disparatado círculo de los pájaros borrachos / novel /
256 pp. / Translation rights sold to: Italy (Gran Via).
Once the readers climb on board the narration, they are startled
by a dizzy succession of intrigues and characters more real than
reality: a writer arrested for horrible crimes, a messiah who announces a weird apocalypse, a conceptual artist who is designing
the deflagration machine of feminine sensibility, and, in Rome, a
pretty policewoman who fights against the dark criminal scheme of
a group of perverse and disturbing housemaids.
Bad Luck
Mala suerte / novel / 192 pp. / Translation rights sold to:
France (Buchet Chastel) and Italy (Gran Via).
This novel takes the crime-thriller back to the place it should never
have left: the psychoanalyst’s clinic.
“A hilarious novel, malicious and affectionate, that broadens the
boundaries of the erotic detective comedy genre” (Paul Preston).
López, López
López, López / novel / 224 pp. / Translation rights sold
to: France (Buchet Chastel).
The intimate confessions of a young swindler who is insecure, sentimental and who suffers from the inevitable tendency of a certain
degree of surrealism in his life. This is the core of this ironic work,
written in a lively prose integral to the magnificent portrait that the
novel gives us of the main character and narrator.
26 LdT Backlist
Carlos Eugenio
López
Carlos Eugenio López was born in León (1954). After being a finalist
for the Sésamo Award in 1977, he was granted the Lengua de Trapo Award and the Novel Award Ciudad de Majadahonda. Lengua
de Trapo has published his novels El orador cautivo [The Captive
Speaker], Delirios de grandeza [Megalomania] and Ahogados
[The Drowned], and his collection of short stories Burdel de muertos
[Brothel of the Dead]. La Metafísica y el mono [Metaphysics and the
Monkey] and Abril [April] are his latests novels.
April
Abril / novel / 208 pp. Translation rights sold to: Switzerland
(Kein&Aber).
In an undefined yet none-too-distant future (our soldiers still remember the four steps of chiki-chiki and Spain has not yet become
a desert), the Hegemonic Empire declares war on the Islamic Republic of Kimbambia. “And what’s that got to do with us?” the anonymous protagonist of Abril asks Comandante Heredia. A stupid
question, as he himself recognises straightaway. There was nothing
to do but get on with it.
The Drowned
Ahogados / novel / 192 pp. / Translation rights sold to: France (Le
Passeur/CECOFOP), and Switzerland (Kein&Aber).
The seven voices that monologuize in this amazing gallery of talking portraits (three men, two women, a girl and a pig) debate like
sleepwalkers between the limits of reality and delirium.
“Totally in dialogue, to such a degree of purity as to flirt with formal
risk” (El País).
Brothel of the Dead
Burdel de muertos / short stories / 192 pp. / Translation
rights sold to: Switzerland (Kein&Aber).
Two anonymous criminals-for-hire cross La Mancha one autumn
morning. In the trunk of their car they’re carrying a ghastly load:
the dead body of the Moroccan immigrant they killed the night
before. An astonishing gallery of talking portraits engage, entering
and exiting conventional ethics through innumerable false doors.
Other books by Carlos Eugenio López: The RH Factor [El factor RH] / novel / 192
pp. and Metaphysics and the Monkey [La Metafísica y el mono] / novel / 752 pp.
LdT Backlist
27
Pedro Ugarte
Pedro Ugarte (Bilbao, 1963) is an economist lawyer, but he has
always worked as press manager, columnist and contributor in radio programs. He wrote three novels, Los cuerpos de los nadadores
[The Swimmers’ Bodies], Una ciudad del norte [A City Up North]
y Acuerdos secretos [Secret Agreements], as well as many short
stories books, being the last one Mañana será otro día [Tomorrow
will be another day]. He was finalist in the Herralde Award and
was granted the following awards: Nervión, Euskadi de Literatura
and Relatos NH.
Almost Innocents
Casi inocentes / novel / 224 pp. / X Lengua de Trapo
Award / Adaptation rights for cinema: sold.
“There’s one thing worth remembering in my life: having
a child”, states the main character on the first line of this
novel. But something changes forever when the life of that
child is endangered and a stranger saves him from a sure
death. Which is the debt we have with someone who saved
our child? Is it possible to completely pay off such an obligation? From this moral conflict, Casi inocentes turns into
an stunning fable around paternity and work and family
relations in a society transforming itself without taking into
account the feeble ethical principles of its members.
Tomorrow Will Be Another Day
Mañana será otro día / novel / 136 pp.
Epics and counterpics about today’s citizens. New accounts
from an extraordinary author. Breaking off and reestablishing
elements of everyday life in these stories that create a mosaique of modern day society. The fragile balance of a couple
is put to the test with the presence of a guest who has no
intentions of leaving.
In the shadow of someone he most admires, a man who no
longer hopes for anything...
28
LdT Backlist
Ronaldo Menéndez
Ronaldo Menéndez (La Habana, 1970) has published three short
story books: Alguien se va lamiendo todo, El derecho al pataleo de los ahorcados [The Right of the Hanged to Kick] (Casa
de las Américas de Cuba Award, 1997, Lengua de Trapo,
2001) and De modo que esto es la muerte [So, this is Death]. He
has also published three novels: La piel de Inesa [Inesa’s Skin]
(Lengua de Trapo Award, 1999), and Las bestias [The Beasts]
and Río Quibú [Quibú River]. Currently he collaborates with several written media, and he works as an editor and a teacher.
Quibú River
Río Quibú / novel / 160 pp. /
Who rapped and killed Julia? Her beautiful corpse reminds of
Hamlet’s Ophelia, entangled in the rushes of the Quibú river. At
this point starts the actual story of her orphan son, who runs away
to the poorest area in Quibú to escape the police, hoping to
throw light on his mother’s death. But this territory is just the worst
hell you can imagine for a fourteen-years-old-boy... Río Quibú is
a thriller, a psychological story, a social denunciation, a game full
of absurd and grotesque situations. Its striking style will grip the
reader and lead him into an enthralling jigsaw puzzle. Although it can be read independently, Río Quibú is the second part of the trilogy started in 2006 with Las bestias.
The Beasts
Las bestias / novel / 144 pp.
Las bestias is the story of a conspiracy and the story a pig’s upbringing in the bathtub of a ramshackle house. And both stories
take place on an island brutalized by poverty and the perversion
of a power that’s been monopolized for decades. A kind of literaturized Tarantino passed through the Caribbean. Between the
cynical and the tragic: a humour that hurts.
Other books by Ronaldo Menéndez: So, this is Death [De modo que esto es la muerte] / novel / 128 pp; The Right of the Hanged to Kick [El derecho al pataleo de los
ahorcados] / novel / 160 pp. and Inesa’s Skin [La piel de Inesa] / novel / 192 pp.
LdT Backlist
29
Elia Barceló
Elia Barceló (Alicante, 1957) teaches Spanish Language and Literature in the University of Innsbruck (Austria). She has published
three novels (Sacred, Yarek’s World — International UPC Award
1993 — and Natural Consequences) that made her worthy of the
title “the Lady of Spanish Science-Fiction”. She is also the author
of several novels for young adults, about thirty crime and fantastic
short stories that appeared in Spain and abroad, and an essay on
the archetypes of terror in Julio Cortázar’s stories [The Disturbing
Familiarity]. Corazón de tango [Tango’s Heart] is her last novel.
The Goldsmith’s Secret
El secreto del orfebre / novel / 96 pp. / Translation rights sold to:
Germany (Piper Verlag), Holland (Uitgeverij Signature), France (Flammarion), Italy (Marcos&Marcos), Greece (Patakis),
Norway (Gyldendal), Sweden (Albert Bonniers Förlag), Croacia
(Fraktura) and Denmark (Borgen Hekla Vindrose).
One of those rare examples where literature jumps in fearlessly to
tackle eternal issues, and does so to make us consider overwhelming questions: is time stringer than love? How does beauty last?
Is the body a map of desire with an expiry date? Can desire change reality? Nostalgia, sex, passion, identity…
The Flight of the Hippogriffin
El vuelo del hipogrifo / novel / 448 pp. / Translation rights sold
to: Germany (Piper Verlag) and Holland (Querido).
A novel combining several literary genres, has made her known to
a wider public as the great writer she is.
Terrible Disguises
Disfraces terribles / novel / 448 pp. / Translation rights sold
to: Germany (Piper Verlag), Norway (Gyldendal) and Holland
(Querido).
Ariel Lenormand, a young French literary critic, begins to investigate the life of the prestigious Argentinian short-story writer Raúl de la
Torre. But does anyone know the truth about his life? In this novel,
the author explores the territory of metaliterary fiction in combination with an exciting crime story.
Other books by Elia Barceló: Tango’s Heart [Corazón de tango] / novel / 187 pp. / Translation rights sold to: Germany (Piper Verlag), Holland (Querido) and Italy (Voland)
and Yarek’s World [El mundo de Yarek] / novel / 128 pp. / Translation rights sold to:
Germany (Piper Verlag).
30 LdT Backlist
ENGUA DE TRAPO
Marqués de Valdeiglesias 5, 5º izq. 28004 Madrid
Teléfono: 91 5210813 / Fax: 91 53226777
www.lenguadetrapo.com / [email protected]