March 3, 2021

Do editors dream of 'best sellers millennials'? | Culture

Do editors dream of 'best sellers millennials'? | Culture


We live between the unrepeatable present and the endless commemoration. If there are years that come with the past on its back – the end of the First World War, May 68 – there are those with the future in the spotlight. Although it is nothing more than to verify if they guessed right those that put date to the Apocalypse, something to which the historians do not dare but to which the novelists are fans. It happened in 1984 and 2001 and will pass in 2019, the year chosen by Ridley Scott for place the action of Blade Runner, a free adaptation to cinema Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a story that Philip K. Dick wrote thinking about the Turing test, published in the emblematic 1968 and whose action happens in … 1992. Waiting for the humanoids, what they do not stop arriving are literary novelties. What is not sold this year will be reviewed when a round date arrives. In the book industry there are fewer publishers than reeditors.

Round numbers. In 2019 they are 50 years old Anagrama and Tusquets, key stamps in the formation of the literary taste of the last decades and symbol of how far independence and free flight can take you. At least until the retirement of the founding fathers (Jorge Herralde, Beatriz de Moura) takes you to land on an aircraft carrier and put the catalog in new hands (Silvia Sesé, Juan Cerezo). The aircraft carrier of Anagrama is called Feltrinelli and that of Tusquets, Planeta. As you decide the fate of your coveted file –Tusquets gave his to the National Library of Spain-, Anagram demonstrates the movement walking and premieres January with one of its fetish authors: Michel Houellebecq, who next week publishes Serotonin, a portrait of French outrage in the Macron era. And, of course, between the past, the present and the future.

From that same crossroads comes, with another tone and with the same confusion, Pepe Carvalho, the detective created by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán who this month gives new life Carlos Zanón in Identity problems (Planet), a sequel authorized by the heirs of MVM with the hope that it reactivates the original series.

Well written, well sold. The Spanish book industry has become polarized in recent years between huge publishing conglomerates and tiny labels that sometimes good smell turns into mediums. It was the case that Salamander, who got that the success of Harry Potter it will not take its line of what the euphemism calls quality literature with possibilities of becoming a best seller. In search of that niche, the Anaya group launched two years ago the AdN label (Alliance of Novels), which this season will publish, along with a new Michael Connelly, the latest Goncourt Prize: Leurs enfants après eux, a teenage summer and Franco-French set by Nicolas Mathieu in … 1992.

Big fish, small scales. A similar move, but on the hunt for a different niche, is what the Planeta group will soon undertake, which has renewed Temas de Hoy until the stamp it published is unrecognizable. How to be a woman and not die trying. In the new catalog fit the story of the first transsexual boxer, the first novel of a millennial, some games gathered feminists and a graphic and biographical review to Chiquito de la Calzada. The objective stated by its leaders is a "highly unfaithful" and "undiscovered" reader. And young. OR viejoven. That is to say, the same one that, mixing James Rodhes with Gloria Fuertes, has turned Blackie Books into one of the most successful independent publishers. To a more faithful and less unknown reader is directed Trojan Horse, quarry of the giant Penguin Random House. Aroa Moreno, Gabriela Ybarra and Mercedes Cebrián have come from her. And Elvira Navarro, who will publish a story book in a few weeks The island of rabbits (Random House Literature). This year the invited editors of Caballo de Troya are Luna Miguel and Antonio J. Rodríguez, who bet on authors born in the 80s and 90s like Víctor Parkas or Aixa de la Cruz. The formula to change annually from responsible was the best possible way to prolong the work of the first director of the seal, Constantino Bértolo. He was the one who discovered, in his times of Debate, Ray Loriga, who also has a new novel Saturday Sunday (Alfaguara), another story of teenagers.

Everyone loves Iris on her centenary. There are authors rediscovered by independent publishers who end up -the money commands- by recalling in a large group. This is the case of the Irish Edna O'Brien. Errata Naturae opted for her and now she works with Lumen, the same publisher that is preparing to relaunch three titles of another Irishwoman: Iris Murdoch, born in 1919. Until now, and after leaving Alianza, an independent one had dealt with her: Impedimenta .

Spanish eminent. The collection of biographies of the publishing house Taurus -Españoles eminentes- has taken six years and several eminences to take care of a Spanish woman. The first was, last fall, Concepción Arenal -biographed by Anna Caballé- and now Emilia Pardo Bazán is next. Isabel Burdiel is in charge of it, and in 2011 she won the National Prize for the History of Spain with her essential review of the life and work of Isabel II. The rescue of the work of women overshadowed by the canon has become something unstoppable. A good example is Luisa Carnés, returned to bookstores by stamps such as Hoja de Lata and Renacimiento and that now will also swell a new collection of Los libros del vigía dedicated to "the hatless" of the generation of 27. And beyond.

The language that unites us, etcetera. A new Spanish Language Congress will be held from March 27 to 30 in Córdoba (Argentina). With this motive Alfaguara and the RAE will launch a commemorative edition of Hopscotch. It will be the test of generational fire for the mythical novel by Julio Cortázar, an author that many young authors prefer as a storyteller. These authors, by the way, still do not find on a continental level – the isolated Spain included – the echo that they already have in their countries. In the coming months, Cuban Wendy Guerra will try again with 'The mercenary who collected works of art' (Alfaguara) or the Mexican Emiliano Monge, a phenomenon in your country with Do not count everything (Random House Literature). On April 23 Ida Vitale, 95, will pick up the Cervantes Prize. Weeks before his memories of chilango exile will have appeared: Shakespeare Palace (Lumen)

The daughter of the Atlantic. One of the biggest surprises of the last Frankfurt Fair was the sale to 21 publishers around the world of The daughter of the Spanish, the first novel by the Venezuelan journalist based in Spain Karina Sainz Borgo, 36 years old. The phenomenon is reminiscent of All this will happen, by Milena Busquets, by international unanimity and because it is also an unpublished work. On March 7 you will finally see the light in Lumen. In 12 months we will know if it is one of the books of 2019.

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