Synopses & Reviews
A tremendous introduction to twenty-eight of the most influential Spanish-language authors of the twentieth century, A Thousand Forests in One Acorn combines interviews with these authors—about their influences, about what they're trying to accomplish with their writing (the "Acorn")—with each author's "favorite piece ever written" (the "Thousand Forests").
So, in addition to reading excerpts from Javier Marías's best works (Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me, Dark Back of Time), you get to hear his reasons for why he thinks these are the best (the explanation for the bit from Tomorrow will change the way you read forever) and how his work as a translator (he translated Tristram Shandy into Spanish) has impacted his writing style.
Along with the Spanish-language authors who have already made a name for themselves in English—Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Enrique Vila-Matas, Ana María Matute—this collection includes a dozen authors never before translated into English. Authors like Elvio Gandolfo, whose story about a whale suddenly appearing over the town of Rosario ("I tried to make something impossible, at least in terms of the physical laws and limits we are bound by at this moment in science and history, plausible") is one of the many highlights of the volume.
Great for teaching and for anyone interested in Spanish-language literature as a whole, this is an indispensible anthology—one that will influence writers for decades to come.
Valerie Miles is the co-founder of Granta en español and was voted one of the "Most Influential Professionals in Publishing" at the 2013 Buenos Aires Book Fair.
"Miles compiles an impressive anthology of Spanish-language authors' self-submissions. The result, titled after an Emerson quote, is less of a definitive canon than an attempt to 'root out the acorn, the driving obsession of a writer.' Nevertheless, the 28 participating fiction writers represent some of the best of their respective literatures: including Carlos Fuentes (Mexican), Aurora Venturini (Argentinian), Mario Vargas Llosa (Peruvian), and Ramiro Pinilla (Spanish), among many others. Each section consists of a short biography (conveniently marked off by inked page edges), an interview, a selection of the author's choosing, and finally a bibliography of works and awards. Almost all of the selections are literary works of rare, remarkable quality, but the real pleasure is reading them in the context of the interviews. Here, authors explain their submission choice (Alberto Ruy SÃ¡nchez calls it 'the pain of choosing'); they recount influences (Faulkner makes frequent appearances, as do family members says Fuentes, 'rite for your grandmothers wherever they are'); and they discuss everything from writing techniques to fiction's 'obligation' to politics. Ordered chronologically by authors' dates of birth, the collection begins with the rich works of the most mature authors, and ends slightly less impressively with younger authors who, though worthwhile, may have yet to write their best pages. With its myriad themes, including class conflict (Esther Tusquets), disillusionment with utopian ideals (Juan MarsÃ©), and instability of identity (Antonio MuÃ±oz Molina), the collection amply rewards both the casual reader and the scholar seeking insight into authors' thought processes. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Featuring 28 extremely influential Spanish-language authors, each of whom selected the "ultimate highlights" of his or her writing career.
This collection brings together twenty-eight of the greatest Spanish writers of the twentieth century, from Aurora Venturini--who received a prize from Borges as a young girl--to Carlos Fuentes to Horacio Castellanos Moya. Each author is interviewed about his/her influences and about why the section s/he selected is "the high-point" of his/her career. Excellent introduction to contemporary Spanish literature.
About the Author
Valerie Miles is a publisher, writer, translator, and the cofounder of Granta en español
. She is also the co-director of The New York Review of Books
in its Spanish translation and, in 2013, was voted one of the "Most Influential Professionals in Publishing" by the Buenos Aires Book Fair.
Here's a list of all contributors in this volume in alphabetical order:
Jose de la Colina
Cristina Fernandez Cubas
Alfredo Bryce Echenique
Rafael Sanchez Ferlosio
Ana Maria Matute
Jose Maria Merino
Antonio Munoz Molina
Horacio Castellanos Moya
Alberto Ruy Sanchez
Mario Vargas Llosa