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Looking for the new Lucia Berlin

The still throbbing success of ' Manual for cleaning women ' has put Spanish publishers behind the track of Anglo-Saxon stories whose career has been developed in the margins

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Looking for the new Lucia Berlin

It might all start in 2013, when Alice Munro won Nobel prize. Alice Munro, "The Chekhov of Canada." The Swedish Academy finally surrendered to cursed genre, story. And maybe at that time, editorial cabinets from all over world, in fact, unique readers of those same publishers, led by publishers eager to finally get out of a genre considered little more than "box office poison" so far , put hands to work in search of or Chéjovs, Chéjovs of all kinds. That's how one day someone picked up a phone at New York editorial Farrar, Straus and Giroux and called Lydia Davis to ask her for advice. He asked if he had in mind some or storyteller whose work had never been treated as he should. She said, "Of course, Lucia Berlin." Who knows, Davis may have been longing to want someone to ask him that question.

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The rest is history. In 2015, Farrar, Straus and Giroux published handbook for Women of Cleanliness, definitive anthology of Berlin, cursed goddess of a powerfully alive dirty realism, elaborated by Stephen Emerson, writer and good friend of Lucia. By n, world was finally about to discover that ir stories were not just stories, y were diamonds extracted from mine of ir stormy existence — nomadic childhood, three husbands, four children, all sorts of horrible jobs, too much alcohol, a mor Abominable, removals, laundries, buses, and a death in utter misery. The result of Emerson's work, 43 stories in which "electric" prose of Berlin "opens its way to Zarpazos on paper," made whole world fall in love with woman who was both Charles Bukowski, Raymond Carver and Francis Scott Fitzgerald.

100,000 specimens

María Fasce, n editor of Alfaguara, was, by chance, first to read manuscript in Spain. "I took him home that weekend, and I was hypnotized. On Monday we had already passed an offer. We never imagined phenomenon, "he says. To date, a year and a half of publishing in Spain, Manual for women of cleaning has sold, according to publisher, more than 100,000 copies in Spain and Latin America. And, since n, without haste but without pause, bookshops have been gradually filling up stories gared of all kinds of authors of which we had no news to date. Let's think of mor of sourn neo-Gothic weird Joy Williams, in Always cruel, dark and fascinating Angela Carter, in Lucid field girl Edna O'Brien, in lover of unhappy couples and smiling women Margaret Drabble. And in which se days coincide in bookstores: Edith Pearlman and her Binocular vision (which publishes anagram after last year DNA launched Desert Honey); Andrea Barrett and scientific tales containing black Fever (Nordic); The icon of Irish literature Mary Lavin, which receives reader in a café (Errata naturae). Would you say someone is looking for next Lucia Berlin?

"It is very probable," says Maria Fasce, today in front of Lumen. "I'm looking for next Lucia Berlin!", she admits. The coordinates are clear: Anglo-Saxon author of stories that have grown on margins — that is, that he has been unfairly treated even by public and critical — a rare orchid that had opened his way in hard asphalt, and of which little or almost nothing was known. Like aforementioned, among which we could add shy rescue of Ann Beattie — only two tales gared in Walking with men (Leopard) — or comprehensive reissue of Grace Paley (anagram). "Berlin has made it easier for bookseller to give story less fear, and that has made us less afraid of us," says Diego Moreno, Nordic, who admits that one day, "making inquiries over Internet" gave an author "of stories" who had won National Book Award and N 1996, and that he could not be believed to be "free". He's talking about Andrea Barrett. Barrett is from Boston, is 63 years old, and writes about all kinds of families, obsessed, one way or anor, with science. "She is passionate about science, who mixes fiction with knowledge," says Moreno, who confesses that, for moment — and it is a very short time, book was published in early February — welcome is being "great".

Superwoman of 60

Enrique Redel, of Impedimenta, confirms that, without doubt, " time has come for story in Spain." He does not make a distinction of sex, as complete stories of Kingsley Amis like those of Angela Carter (of which he has sold more than 10,000 copies) work so well. Nor of nationality, n, he says, tales of Jon Bilbao "have thrown great." Of course, no one has yet to look for Spanish and Latin American authors of stories that have grown in margins. Or it's being done covertly. As far as our language is concerned it seems that bet is firm for what is written today. Think of specialized editorial foam pages, in names of Sara Mesa, Mariana Enríquez, Samantha Schweblin and Paulina Flores and national narrative that Cristina Fernandez Cubas won in 2016 for a book of stories (The room of Nona, Tusquets).

In any case, Redel is surprised that Margaret Drabble, a small sister of a. S. Byatt, is holding pull as he is doing. Redel published last year a collection of his tales titled A Day in life of a smiling woman. "What's so special about Drabble? That speaks of Superwoman syndrome of 60 and 70, because it belongs to generation of British baby pill, and talks about first women who joined work and how it was change of role, of its huge contradictions, "he says. However, FASCE does not believe that way to find next Lucia Berlin goes through story. "The phenomenon of Berlin has much more to do with that of Angelika Schrobsdorff [which triumphed in 2016 with you are not like or mors] and that of [Karl Ove] Knausgard, because what you are reading is a life." to fragments. But a life.

Mistresses of short distances Margaret Drabble.

selected Tales, by Joy Williams (Seix barral). It is mor of a very special magic realism, of which this collection gives good account.

a day in life of a smiling woman, of Margaret Drabble (Impedimenta). Its protagonists go on a honeymoon with men who abhor and try to retake control of ir, at times, sad, lives.

in a café, by Mary Lavin (Nature Errata). His tales rebuild a life, his own, in harsh Irish countryside.

Binocular Vision, by Edith Pearlman (anagram). In ir stories re are lost girls and marriages obsessed with coats. There is irony, middle class and existential crossroads.

black Fever, by Andrea Barrett (Nordic). Passionate about science, he turns small anecdotes into a whole lesson in history as well.

object of Love, by Edna O'Brien (Lumen). Teacher of fragile and at same time someone able to dissect, in a cruel way, feelings like love.

Walking with men, from Ann Beattie (Leopard). It uses itself, and its history with not quite suitable types, to tell how it was to live, being an aspiring writer, in new York in Seventies.


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