May 10, 2021

“This, without a doubt, is the book of the year”

Also, so far it has been translated into English (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), French (L’Observatoire), German (KiWi Verlag), Dutch (Van Oorschot), Danish (Gutkind Forlag), Norwegian (Aschehoug), into Portuguese (Companhia das Letras), into Turkish (Turkey) and into Czech (Leda).

However, the success of Panza de burro is not measured solely in editorial terms. Many of his fellow writers have joined in the praise. Pablo Gutiérrez is a young Huelva-born author of books such as Cabezas Cortados or El syndrome de Bergerac which, curiously, was part of the first list that the British magazine Granta dedicated to promising young people of Spanish literature. It was in 2011. It took ten years for the prestigious publication to launch its second ranking. It was a week ago and it included Abreu as one of the 25 best authors in the world under 35 years of age.

“My selection coincided just at the time that my second novel was released, Nothing is crucial. I was a very new writer and I was beginning to find a place for myself. He opened the door of a large publishing house for me, I went from Rag Language to Seix Barral ”, he recalled. Regarding Abreu’s creation, which he read last summer “with real passion and great interest”, he assures that it has been “the novel of the year in every way. It is a new voice that we did not know and an unusual novel that caught our attention ”, he highlighted.

“It is a genre, that of a training novel, that interests me particularly as a writer,” he continued. “We peninsular people have discovered a Canary that we did not know. A more suburb Canary, further from the tourist vision that we have when we visit it and that fascinates us for so many reasons, from the scenic to the touristy. It teaches us the other part that remains only for canaries. We have been able to peer into it thanks to Andrea Abreu ”.

For her part, Marta Sanz, from Madrid, is one of the best-known writers on the Spanish scene. He has won, for example, the Herralde Prize for novels, the Critical Eye for Narrative or the Vargas Llosa Prize for short stories. He was a finalist for the Nadal Prize and one of his latest creations is Little Red Women. Sanz is another of Panza de burro’s lovers. “I thought it was a great book,” he highlights.

“Abreu gives several twists of the screw to a tremendous poeticism that is very delicate from the stylistic point of view, without falling towards the ethically reprehensible aesthetics of the poor man’s bunting”, he assures. “Abreu portrays all the peripheries together in the foreground: island, girls, mothers who clean and fathers who work in construction, animals, orphans, lesbian impetus and pepes that itch. The animal that we carry inside ”, he adds.

But those are not the only reasons why the story of Isora and her friend conquered the creator of detective Arturo Zarco, who also does not hesitate to point out Sabina Urraca as the “great discoverer” of Andrea Abreu. “The book is political because of a linguistic intrepidity that helps it to tell an untold world. Its beauty is political because it gets inside us through phonetic shame, syntactic violence, rebellion before a canonical literature … All this crystallizes in pure expressiveness. Abreu writes of the body as the body asks of him with all the idiosyncrasies above him, fleeing from a flat and gentrified way of saying, and from a pseudo-universal sentimentality, which make all books the same book. His poetry hurts and he dares ”, he concludes.


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