2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet, G is for Giardinelli, Mempo Giardinelli

My goal, in this new edition of the Crime Fiction Alphabet, is to introduce you crime fiction writers in Spanish or Portuguese. Last week I posted about Necropolis by Santiago Gamboa (Pub. date: July 15 2012), You can find HERE a review by M. A. Orthofer. But there’s no point in repeating myself. For this reason, as an extra bonus, I’m going to choose another author from South America whose surname starts with the letter “G”, Giardinelli, Mempo Giardinelli.

Mempo Giardinelli. Born in Resistencia (Chaco, 1947), he studied at the Law School, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Argentina (1964-1969). He lived in exile, in Mexico, between 1976 and 1983. He went back in 1985 and he now lives in Resistencia.

As a fiction writer (novels and short-stories) and essayist, he has a significant list of publications in some of the most important publishing houses of more than 30 countries. His works have been translated into 20 languages and his works have won him prestigious awards, among them the “Premio Rómulo Gallegos” (1993). His novel Luna caliente (Sultry Moon) was awarded the “Mexican National Award” in 1983, granted by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes.

He is the author of several novels, as La revolución en bicicleta, El cielo con las manos, Luna caliente (1983, translated into English as Sultry Moon), Qué solos se quedan los muertos, Santo Oficio de la Memoria, Imposible equilibrio, El Décimo Infierno (translated into English as The Tenth Circle) and Final de novela en Patagonia (2000, winner of the yearly Grandes Viajeros Award, in Spain). His latest works: Cuestiones interiores (nouvelle, 2003) and Visitas después de hora (2003).

He is also the author of short-stories collections, as Vidas ejemplares, Antología personal, El castigo de Dios, and his latest Gente rara (2005) and Estación Coghlan y otros cuentos (2005).

As a journalist and essayist, he writes for numerous newspapers and magazines and his articles appears weekly in Debate magazine, and regularly in several Argentine newpapers as Página/12, La Nación y La Voz del Interior. He also contributes to many other newspapers and magazines as “La Jornada” (Mexico) and “El Mundo” (Madrid). He founded and edited the literary magazine “Puro Cuento” (Buenos Aires, 1986-1992) and he has published El género Negro (The Noir Genre, essays on detective literature), Así se escribe un cuento (essays on the art of short-story writings) and El País de las Maravillas (1997, winner of the Best Essay Book 1998).

Mempo Giardinelli Website (Biographical Information)

Sultry Moon, Latin Amer Literary Review Pr (1998).

Topping Argentina’s bestseller list for twenty-seven weeks, winner of Mexico’s National Book Award and translated into eight languages, Sultry Moon is a gripping novel reminiscent of both Crime and Punishment as well as Lolita. This fast-paces thriller takes off with he introduction of its protagonist who has just returned to his hometown in Argentina from studies in France. With the prospect of a brilliant career ahead of him, he is welcomed back with open arms. However, within the span of a few hours during a dinner party on a torrid evening, this unsuspected over-achiever becomes a ruthless, violent aggressor living out the paranoid psychology of a criminal on the run. (Latin America Literary Review Press)

The Tenth Circle, Latin Amer Literary Review Pr (2000).

In this masterful novel, Mempo Giardinelli offers an intense narrative, which proves both horrible and dazzling. It’s a work presenting reality as brutal as well as poetic. This poetry of cruelty places fiction between the limits of passion and horror while pervading a suffocating and totally black atmosphere, spiraling erotically against the background of an escape through the north of Argentina where two diabolic lovers invent the tenth circle of hell. (Latin America Literary Review Press)

For additional information visit:


The Crime Fiction Alphabet 2012 is a Community Meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By Friday of each week participants try to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week. Click HERE to visit the contribution of other participants.

10 thoughts on “2012 Crime Fiction Alphabet, G is for Giardinelli, Mempo Giardinelli”

  1. He sure has a great history and even though we don’t often mention crime fiction from outside the US and Britain, there are some real contributors to the field.

    1. Thanks Clarissa. Certainly you are right, there are some great contributors to the field from outside the US and Britain. Pity they are not always available in translation or they are not well known.

  2. José Ignacio – Thank you for this. Giardinelli is an author whose work I haven’t started yet. I am very glad you recommend him; I’ve heard before that he’s good. Time to add his writing to my TBR I think.

    1. Margot. – I’m at fault here, I’ve not read Giardinelli’s books either. Unfortunately his books are difficult to find in Spain or too expensive.

  3. This is a nice overview. I am not familiar with this author and his novels sound maybe too intense for me. Enjoyed reading about him anyway. Thanks.

  4. Definitely someone I had never heard of. Thanks for introducing us to him. Have you read any of his books and if so did you read them in the original Spanish or a translated version? I’m curious how much they lose in translation.

    1. Your are welcome Peter. As a general rule I read in Spanish if that is her/his original language. And I know I should have read at least something from an author before I write a post. Unfortunately not in this case, since his books are difficult to find at a reasonable price.

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