Considered as one of the great writers of our country, Almudena Grandes treasures a career made up of stories that contain some of the most unique criticisms and nuances of the Spanish reality in recent decades. We review the biography and best books of Almudena Grandes in order to discover (or rediscover) his life and work.
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Brief biography of Almudena Grandes
From an early age, Almudena Grandes (Madrid, May 7, 1960) knew that she wanted to be a writer, especially in a home where her mother and grandmother encouraged poetry and the colorful colors that were always on the children's table were used to write in instead of drawing, art that Grandes claims he has never mastered. However, social conventions, and especially her mother's insistence on studying a "girl's degree," led her to enter the Faculty of Geography and History of the Complutense University of Madrid, although she leaned more by the Latin.
After graduating, he began working writing captions and texts for encyclopedias in addition to the occasional film role. Finally, in 1989 he would publish The Ages of Lulu, initiation novel published by Editorial Tusquets and winner of the The Vertical Smile Award for Erotic Narrative. A success translated into 21 languages and which has been reached to sell more than a million copies, especially after the film adaptation of Bigas Lunas released in 1990.
In 1991, Grandes published his second novel, I will call you friday, of little success, while in 1994 one of his most successful works saw the light, Malena is a tango name, a novel that narrates the adolescence and adult stage of a young woman from the upper bourgeoisie in the middle of the Transition and that would also be made into a movie in 1996. With this novel, she would begin to become notorious the importance of the Spanish reality of the last 25 years of the XNUMXth century and the importance of women as the protagonists of his work. A resource also present in other of his stories such as Atlas of human geography, focused on the misadventures of a group of four women who represent the fears and doubts of generational change.
The work of Grandes evolved in giant steps during the following years, being The frozen heart, published in 2007, his most expensive novel. Focused on the postwar era, the book confirmed the author's interest in being a narrator of the recent history of Spain, from the Civil War to the economic crisis. The latter was the topic he addressed in Kisses on bread, in 2015, novel published under the intention of the author to vindicate the attitude of our elders, that of people who live with dignity despite the circumstances.
His latest work, Dr. García's patients, Big continues the series Episodes of an endless war that started in 2010 and won her the Elena Poniatowska award in Mexico.
In addition to being a novelist, Grandes participates in Cadena SER programs and is a regular contributor to El País, in addition to having become one of the most influential intellectual voices regarding the political landscape, especially during what has been one of the most difficult decades for our country.
In this way, and looking back, Almudena Grandes has not only become consolidated as one of the great storytellers of our time, but as the necessary voice when it comes to delving into the many perspectives of our more recent history.
Best books by Almudena Grandes
The ages of Lulu
Published in 1989, The ages of Lulu It was Grandes' first published novel and the highlight of his meteoric career. A learning story that follows in the footsteps of Lulu, a fifteen-year-old girl who feeds torrid desires fed by a lover and that turn her into a woman who, already into adulthood, immerses herself in all kinds of dangerous sexual desires. The work was winner of the La Sonrisa Vertical award for Erotic Narrative and adapted to the cinema in 1990 by Bigas Luna with Francesca Neri and Javier Bardem in the title roles.
Malena is a tango name
The novel that consolidated the career of Grandes was published in 1994 and adapted to the cinema two years later with Ariadna Gil in the lead role. An X-ray of the Madrid bourgeoisie through the eyes of Malena, a twelve-year-old girl who tries to find her place in the world by comparing herself to her twin sister, Reina. A labyrinth of family secrets that both will try to discover through three decades that reach a Spanish Transition that will change everything forever. One of the best books by Almudena Grandes, definitely.
Would you like to read Malena is a tango name?
Atlas of human geography
The presence of women in Grandes' bibliography reaches its culmination in this work published in 1998 and which begins in the Works Department of a publishing house. It will be here, during the elaboration of an atlas by fascicles, when four women, Ana, Rosa, María and Fran will realize their slavery to the rules of another time and their inability to build a world, or own atlas, depending on your current desires. Perfect tour of the fears and desires of a late generation, the work was adapted to the cinema in 2007 with Cuca Escribano, Montse Germán, María Bouzas and Rosa Vila like the four leading women.
You still haven't read Atlas of human geography?
The frozen heart
The 919 pages of this work published in 2007 confirmed the challenge that Grandes had set for herself to build her most ambitious novel. A review of the fears and secrets of the Civil War that we know through the characters of Álvaro, whose father participated in the conflict, and Raquel, granddaughter of an emigrant man who returns to Madrid under strange circumstances. A work with an unexpected ending that enhances a prose by Grandes as vibrant as it is elegant.
Would you like to read The frozen heart?
Agnes and joy
First installment of the saga Episodes of an endless war, which consists of four titles so far, Agnes and joy It was published in 2010 reaching great critical and public success. A work that embodies Grandes' deepest desire to bring to light some of the most gripping and dark stories of the greatest Spanish war of the 1989th century. The play is set in a summer of XNUMX in which a group of Spanish communists decide to carry out an ambitious plan to dominate a Spain marked by war and the desire for courage of a young Inés turned into the absolute protagonist.
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