Javier Pérez Andújar wins the Herralde award with a novel that has been writing 20 years

Four artists held in a garage, with their frustrated dreams, their forgotten ideals ... and, in that garage, a strange creature appears that proposes a sinister

Javier Pérez Andújar wins the Herralde award with a novel that has been writing 20 years

Four artists held in a garage, with their frustrated dreams, their forgotten ideals ... and, in that garage, a strange creature appears that proposes a sinister pact which moors them. Javier Pérez Andújar has won the Herralde of novel, endowed with 18,000 euros, for the year of the buffalo, a kind of literary fable populated by eccentric characters.

"I started writing and thinking this book 20 or 25 years ago, when it tried to save the soul without having lost it," says Pérez Andújar. He then worked in RBA and had not yet published his premium opera, the Catalan essay all (2002). "All these people [that appears in the novel] existed. RBA was the armed arm of Agostini planet. It was full of Montoneros, former guerrillas, a lot of people who brought a Latin American legend behind them ...", remember Andújar . And although he was impregnating from those legends he did not dare tell the story. "I did not control, I did not know how to do it. And for a certain shame: 'I'm going to write a strange book' I was saying," he admits. Two decades later, he has written it, between novel and novel and, definitely, in full pandemic: a live book, to which things happen, which changes and evolves thanks to the mechanism of the footnotes.

With its usual irony, Pérez Andújar summarizes the novel: "It is a very normal story: a Finnish writer in love with Spain, affiliated with the Communist Party, has left a posthumous novel that deals with four types locked and that the Ministry of Humanities will publish" . And various characters are scoring at the foot of the page, their opinion on the posthumous novel: its translator, a bureaucrat of the Ministry of Humanities, the exdirector of the CineClub of Santa Coloma de Gramanet, etc. Then there are the psychophonies, both of the dead writer of the beyond, as of dictators and rebels.

The novel, as its title indicates, is set in the Chinese Year of the Buffalo, that is: 1973 (this 2021 is also). But it backs up until 60 and advances until 1985, with a whole series of pop and political references of each era. Of utopias to raw reality. Of Modiano and Gaddafi, but also from the Colcao, the Congitos and the Chicken fried Kentucky ...

The novel by Pérez Andújar, an author of the Anagram catalog, has been imposed on another 597 manuscripts presented and has been chosen by a jury composed of the writers Gonzalo Pontón, Marta SANZA, Juan Pablo Vilanlobos, the library Marta Ramoneda and the Editora Silvia Sesé. "It's a short novel, a species of Big Bang, which concentrates a lot of energy in a very little space," says Pontoon as a spokesman of the jury, which defines the book to andújar as "a high-risk hypnotic artifact".

Daniel Saldaña has been a finalist of the Herralde by the dance and fire. "They are not pandemic novels but there is a confinement, paranoia, which exists in both," says Juan Pablo Villalobos.

Updated Date: 08 November 2021, 07:41

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