Rafael Reig wins the sixth edition of the Premio Tusquets Editores de Novela

From Fox News Latino, La Prensa and The Complete Review

Spanish writer Rafael Reig won the sixth edition of the Tusquets Editores Novel Prize for his work Todo Esta Perdonado, the jury at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in this western Mexican city announced Tuesday.

In Todo Esta Perdonado (All Is Forgiven), Reig brings to life Laura Gamazo, daughter of a businessman who gets rich during the 1939-1975 Franco dictatorship, and who dies of poisoning on her wedding day. After her death, her father, Perico Gamazo, looks to a friend of the family who used to be a cop to clear up the case, and it is he who relates half a century of Spanish history with the families of both as the thread of the story.

Tusquets Editores (in Spanish)

Rafael Reig Wikipedia (in English)

Blog de Rafael Reig (in Spanish)

Guapa de cara (A Pretty Face) and Blood on the Saddle by Rafael Reig are both translated into English (Serpent’s Tail).

A multilingual country

A Shortcut to Paradise is rich in typical expressions of the different Spanish regions and of the different social background of the characters. My copy is a translation from the original in Catalan to Castilian, the only advantage being that it was done by the author herself who is also a professional translator.

As far as I know, Teresa Solana writes in Catalan and she has translated her first two books only to Spanish-Castilian, while Domingo Villar writes simultaneously in Galician and Spanish-Castilian and his books have been published simultaneously in both languages so far.

Castilian is the official language of the Spanish state, as established in the third article of the Constitution. The same constitution, approved in 1978, also recognises other co-official languages: Basque, Galician and Catalan / Valencian. In addition to these, various dialects are used in other parts of the country, such as Aranese, a dialectal variety of the Gascon language which, in the Arán valley, is considered a co-official language with Catalan, according to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy; Aragonese, spoken in areas of the Pyrenees in the north of Aragon; Leonese, used in the provinces of León and Zamora; Asturian or ‘bable’, in Asturias and neighbouring areas. There are also various dialectal varieties associated with Castilian, such as Andalusian, Canarian, Murcian and Extremaduran. Equally, other minority languages are also used in Spain, such as Caló (a variant of Romany spoken by the gypsy community) and Arabic dialects (essentially spoken in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla).

Above information was taken from A multilingual country.

A Shortcut to Paradise (Original Title: Drecera al paradís) by Teresa Solana

 A Shortcut to Paradise (Drecera al paradís, Edicions 62, 2007) is the second novel by Catalan writer Teresa Solana (Barcelona, 1962) featuring twin brothers Eduard and Josep (Pep) Martínez Estivill. But this detail is largely ignored by everyone since Pep introduces himself as Borja Masdéu-Canals Sáez de Astorga. They don’t even look like brothers, due to one of those strange quirks of nature. Borja, like his mother, is handsome and good looking. Eduard looks more normal, like his father. During the last three years they have been running a rather peculiar detective agency, unlicensed. Obviously, they do not get involved with real crimes. They work mainly for the upper class. They buy and sell real-state property undercover, they also provide what can be called ‘delicate arrangements’ and, from time to time, they investigate marital infidelities. Just on one occasion they got involved in a complicated murder case (See her previous novel A Not So Perfect Crime, Bitter Lemon Press, 2008).

One day, while Borja escorts a lady to a literary award ceremony in the luxurious Ritz Hotel in Barcelona, the winner, Marina Dolc, media figure and writer of best-sellers, is murdered. The killer has battered her to death with the trophy she has just won, an end identical to that of the heroine in her prize-winning novel. The same night the Catalan police arrest their chief suspect, Amadeu Cabestany, runner-up for the prize. Borja and Eduard are hired by Cabestany’s literary agent to prove his innocence.

I do not find it necessary to have read the first instalment to fully appreciate the second novel in what can be expected becomes a longer series. All the necessary information is provided to the reader, perfectly integrated into the plot. The story is told from the point of view of Eduard and, sometimes, by a third person narrator. The action develops smoothly, with high doses of humour. I often found myself laughing aloud while reading it. The reader is one step ahead on the events and can easily find the solution to the case. But the detective story plays a secondary role, it is mainly an excuse for a parody of a present-day society. Very well written. A joyful reading. Highly recommended.

Teresa Solana was born in Barcelona in 1962. She has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona where she also studied Classical Philology. She is a literary translator and author of articles and essays about translation and has directed the Translators’ House in Tarazona. A Not So Perfect Crime (Edicions 62, 2006) is her first book. With this generic novel she has begun a series centred around two very different twins who team up to create a curious consulting company and end up becoming detectives.  A Shortcut to Paradise (Edicions 62, 2007) is her second novel in the series.

See also: Edicions 62 publicity page, DeBolsillo publicity page, Bitter Lemon Press publicity page. Read an excerpt (in Spanish).

A Shortcut to Paradise has been reviewed by Cruce de Cables (in Spanish)

Atajo al paraíso

Original title: Drecera al paradís

Teresa Solana

Translated by María Teresa Solana Mir

DeBolsillo, 2009

Number of pages: 286

ISBN: 978-84-8346-905-7