Chile

© ampimargini

authors’ map > chile

FICTION
© ampimargini
Juan Emar was the pen name of Álvaro Yáñez Bianchi (1893-1964). The son of an influential politician and diplomat, he lived intermittently between Santiago and Paris. In Paris, he was associated with the surrealist groups, and took the name Juan Emar because of its connection to the French phrase “J’en ai marre” (I’m fed up). Between 1935-1937 he published four books: Miltín, Un año, Ayer and Diez, which were largely ignored in Chile as he managed to upset the dominant literary circles of his time. As a result he refused to publish anything else but kept writing: Umbral is his more ambitious and impudent work, over 5,000 typewritten pages that comprise five linked works. In a break from realism, Emar’s prose adopts a fragmentary style and allegorical tone. Black humour, erotism and the subconscious are themes that pepper his works. In it we can observe links to the creationist ideas of Vicente Huidobro as well as the buds of cubism and European futurism. In the 1970s, and more recently, his work was reissued in Chile, and he is now thought of as one of the most important 20th century Chilean and South American fiction writers, and seen as a precursor to writers like Julio Cortázar and Juan Rulfo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Un Año – a novel, 1935
81 pages – Rights Sold: Brazil (Editora Rocco)
Diez – short stories, 1937
189 pages
Miltín 1934 – a novel, 1935
240 pages
Ayer – a novel, 1935
109 pages – Rights Sold: Italy (Del Vecchio)

Amor and Cavilaciones are two new works that have come to light thanks to the efforts of the Juan Emar Foundation. They were published for the first time in Chile in 2014/5. Both texts show a young author who begins his quest and whose
writing is taking shape.
Amor is a novel about artistic creation; in it a young intellectual takes
up the task of teaching to his great love all he knows about art so that they both will be able to  cerebrally enjoy life. – 177 pages
Cavilaciones is also a reflection on creation and art; it makes explicit the thinking of Emar and illuminates the rest of his published work. – 113 pages

http://www.memoriachilena.cl/602/w3-article-664.html#documentos

© ampimargini

top

Nona Fernández (Santiago, 1971) is an actress and writer. She has published four novels, two nouvelle and the short stories collection El Cielo (Cuarto Propio,2000). She was selected in 2011 as one of the ‘best kept secrets of Latin American literature’ by the Guadalajara book fair.  Also active as a playwright and scriptwriter of successful TV series.
Roberto Bolaño on Nona Fernandez: “This no-frills self-indulgence, this courage! Each line is either vital or fatal, always stretched to the limit.”

Mapocho
Mapocho tells the story of the return to Santiago of the young ‘la Rucia’, a suffering soul answering the call of her brother, ‘el Indio’. Since childhood, both have lived with their mother somewhere along an undefined Mediterranean shore, a place to which they have come after leaving a Chile under dictatorship. Fausto, their father, and a high- school teacher turned historian who stayed behind in Santiago writing a multi volume history of Chile, is believed dead by his children, for so their mother said. The siblings have then been forcibly separated by their mother to avoid incest, but one day after her death ‘el Indio’ gets in touch from Chile and asks ‘la Rucia’ to go back to him and to their native family home.

The first novel by Nona Fernández is an intense and risky text, a story of surreal dreamlike shadows, in which characters wander between life and death, truth and falsehood.

“Mapocho is one of those novels boldly disassembling the national mythology. Nona Fernandez presents a grotesque (but tender) Santiago, where all the times and the victims that the dirty [Mapocho] river has not managed to wash away, end up. With amazing dexterity, the narrative tries to put things in their place” – Lina Meruane

190 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Planeta 2002, Uqbar 2008, Alquimia 2018) – Rights Sold: Spanish/Argentina (Eterna Cadencia, 2019),  Italian (Gran Vía Edizioni, 2017), German (Septime Verlag, 2015)

[Nona Fernández]

Fuenzalida (2012)
A writer of soap operas finds in the trash collection point near her house a discarded picture depicting a man in martial arts garb. In its grainy quality she seems nonetheless to recognize her father, who she has not seen since just a child.

So starts a search for the long missing paternal figure where family history mixes with the tragedy of the military dictatorship. Love, Revenge, Death, A Small Child, Other Materials are the everyday ingredients the writer employs to structure her own TV series writing and – like in a game of fictions – this are the elements through which the novel develops.  We delve into the narrator’s past by in turn following a familial love story, an investigation on the moral stature of those who fought against the barbarism of the repression, the price they had to pay… until the sudden loss of consciousness of the narrator’s son, urgently hospitalized, brings everything back to the present.

With great narrative talent, the author of Fuenzalida carries us through a maze of incredible interlaced stories that seem to say that it is impossible to close one’s eyes to the memories, whether personal or collective

254 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Random House Mondadori) – Rights Sold: French (Zinnia Editions, 2014), German (Septime Verlag, 2016)

[Nona Fernández]

Space Invaders
Santiago in the ‘80s: a group of teenage classmates cannot forget a mysterious fellow student who has not been seen in class for long now. She was the daughter of a police detective who has now been accused to have committed several atrocities during the years of the dictatorship. The voices of the students alternate each others in remembering their classmate, even in their dreams.
In the context of the resurfacing of the memory of the violent years of the Chilean dictatorship and in short hypnotic and rarefied chapters, Fernandez builds a story that sits between dream and reality and questions which is which. The space invaders are the aliens from the adult world advancing towards the children via the dissemination of death and destruction and forcing them to question the nature of experience.

88 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Alquimia, 2013) – Rights Sold: USA/World (Graywolf Press, 2019), Spanish/Colombia (Laguna Libros, 2018), Italy (Edicola, 2017), French (Zinnia Editions, 2017), German (Septime Verlag, 2016), Spanish/Argentina (Eterna Cadencia, 2015)

[Nona Fernández]

Chilean Electric
Electric light first illuminated the main square of Santiago in 1883 and the narrator’s grandmother recalls the grandiose event of the ceremony that brought artificial light to Chile, she was there she said. But she was born in 1908… From this false memory, Fernandez explores family history, but also that of a country shaped by union leaders forced into exile, wooden horses, a typewriter, an eye in a pool blood, candles and the body of a president who made of death in office is mandate. Chilean Electric is a cryptography and an illumination that starting with the country’s literal darkness, sheds light in an impressionistic, lyrical style on the dark history of the disappeared, the murdered, the hanged. It is also the continuation of one of the most important personal projects of contemporary literature in Spanish. A kind of luminous Morse whose ultimate intent is to do away with the shadows for all of us.

100 pages – Original language: Spanish (Alquímia, 2015, Santiago de Chile) – Rights Sold:  Spanish/World (Minúscula), German (Septime Verlag, 2016), Italy (Edicola).

© ampimargini

top

María José Ferrada (Temuco, Chile, 1977) is a journalist and writer. Her children’s books have been published al over the Spanish speaking world as well as in Italy, Brazil and Japan. For her children’s books Ferrada has been awarded numerous prizes, such as the City of Orihuela de Poesía, the Cuatrogatos Foundation Award, the Academia Award for the best book published in Chile 2013, the Municipality of Santiago Award 2014, the Marta Award Brunet 2014. Kramp is her first adult novel.

Kramp
A seven-year-old girl who smokes and has the occasional drink with her dad and his colleagues. Who hides from her depressed mother the fact she is missing school often enough to be able to travel with her father, and who also has a precocious, sharp commercial sense and an undeniable vocation for the farcical. These are the distinguishing features of M., the peculiar protagonist and narrating voice of Kramp!

M. is the daughter of a door-to-door representative of hardware materials and of an oddly absent mother with a secret past. Her simple, but carefully planned, appearance at her father’s side during his sales trips becomes a powerful tool in convincing buyers to place orders. So much so that requests for her services start coming in from fellow door-to-door salesmen. And it is through the products her father peddles that M. tries to understand the world around her.

This precarious and picaresque world built amongst low quality nails and hammers crashes to the ground when a secret is revealed and re-awakens the figure of a mother up to that moment in the background.

Kramp explores themes such as the country’s social developments through the portrayal of a changing labour market (the fading world of door-to-door salesmen) or the ghosts left behind by the years of the dictatorship, but it is the deterioration of touching complicity between a father and his daughter the real tragedy the pages hide.  With control over language, precision and care Kramp Ferrada enters the field of the adult novel demonstrating an unusual maturity and an enviable ease.  A great critical and sales success in Chile where it was published in 2017 by Emecé.

132 pages – Original Language: Emecé Editores/Planeta, Santiago, 2017.  Foreign Editions: Italian (Edicola, 2018)

© ampimargini

top

Enrique Winter (Santiago, Chile, 1982) is author of Atar las naves (winner of Víctor Jara Arts Festival), Rascacielos (available in English as Skyscrapers), Guía de despacho (winner of the National Young Poet Competition), Lengua de señas (Pablo de Rokha Poetry Prize; available in English as Sign Tongue: Goodmorning Menagerie Chapbook-in-Translation Prize) and co-author of the LP Agua en polvo, collected in several anthologies and languages. He is also the translator of books by Charles Bernstein and Philip Larkin. Winter holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and directs the Creative Writing diploma at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. He used to be an editor and an attorney.

Bolsas de basura (Bin Bags, 2015)
Two veterinary students, Miguel and Brenda, have brought their relationship to a painful end. They are united -and were eventually separated- by the pursuit of an elusive plan: the realization of an ideal of ‘extreme beauty’. This quest takes Brenda to obsessively dedicate herself to collecting the carcasses of dead dogs and teaching herself taxidermy in order to return them to a lifelike state. Meanwhile Miguel spends a year working on boats and herding goats until he is accused of the murder of a transvestite he has sex with. These are two characters fascinated by finding beauty in what is generally ignored, reviled or neglected. And yet it may just be that this compulsive quest is misguided, that the ideal had already been attained: there it was, the two of them together, the lovers, the unity that once had been an ‘extreme beauty’.

With echoes of Onetti and Clarice Lispector in literature, and cinematic atmospheres close to Lynch, Carlos Reygadas and above all Cronenberg’s “Crash” with its fetishist abundance of bent metals and broken bodies, Winter structures the novel in short fragments: a narrative that incorporates a variety of registers, from poetic vignettes to legal documentation, email transcriptions, and direct testimony. Hailed by Chilean literary circles and media, here is the first novel by an author we will be talking about for a long time!

193 pages – Original Language: Spanish (Alquímia, Santiago de Chile)

© ampimargini

top