InSpain.news’s pick of the best Spanish language authors

by Deborah Cater
World Book Day and Spanish authors
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BOOKS – Lockdown gave us the chance to catch up on reading – every cloud has a silver lining. Keeping in touch with all things Spanish through books by our favourite Spanish language authors allowed us to travel in our minds at least.

To celebrate World Book Day, InSpain.news selected their favourite Spanish language authors, which you can enjoy in the original or translated into English. From contemporary to the classics, Spanish literature is something to write about… and read.

Julio Llamazares

Influenced by his childhood in a small village in Léon, Llamazares is known for his depictions of rural Spanish life. His work covers a range of genres from travel writing to poetry and novels. His work is very lyrical, allowing protagonists to be non-human. La Lluvia amarilla (The Yellow Rain) was his breakthrough piece, exploring the relationship between a ruined village and old man nearing death. A novella, The Yellow Rain is a beautiful and moving work.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Many will be familiar with the work of the late Ruiz Zafón who took us on a journey through Barcelona and a world of books. The Shadow of the Wind was an international success that sold over 15 million copies. The Shadow of the Wind became a series – The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The last in the series, The Labyrinth of Spirits, he published in 2017.

Young adults can also enjoy his work, as he started in that genre. El príncipe de la niebla 1993 (The Prince of Mist, published in English in 2010), earned the Edebé literary prize for young adult fiction. He wrote three more YA novels.

Three of the best Spanish language authors ©Deborah Cater

Gabriel García Martínez

Hailed as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Colombian novelist, journalist, and short story writer Gabriel García Márquez was the perfector of magical realism. In 1982 he earned the Nobel Prize for Literature for his most well-known work, the epic One Hundred Years of Solitude. His other notable works include Love in the Time of Cholera and Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

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Isabel Allende

Another South American and magic realism author, Allende also uses her novels as a platform for the feminist voice in Hispanic literature. She has a National Prize for Literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom given to her by President Barack Obama. Her most notable works are The House of the Spirits, City of the Beasts and Eva Luna.

Rosa Montero

Montero is a long-time correspondent for the El País newspaper. Her award-winning fiction delves into the complexities of femininity and the rollercoasters of emotions and responsibilities that come with it. Her novel La loca de la casa (The Lunatic of the House or The Crazed Woman Inside Me, 2003) won both the Qué Leer Prize for best book published in Spain and the Italian Grinzane Cavour Prize for best foreign book.

Pablo Tusset

Comedy from Barcelona that translates, that’s Pablo Tusset. His first novel translated into English (and his second after En El Nombre del Cerdo, or In the Name of the Pig) is The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant (Lo Mejor Que Le Puede Pasar A Un Cruasán) – the title should tell you enough about the quirkiness inside the covers. Then take a regularly-drunk and oversexed hedonist who becomes a reluctant detective when his brother, the company chairman, disappears. If you are able to read it in the Spanish, do.

Miguel de Cervantes

A novel about reading, madness and imagination, there is much that is humorous in Cervantes’ magnum opus, Don Quixote.

Entranced by reading chivalric romances, Don Quixote decides to become a knight-errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, his exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. His imagination leads him astray. He tilts at windmills thinking they are giants, woos princesses (prostitutes) and sets up base in a castle (inn). Considering Cervantes died over 400 years ago, this is a funny novel for today’s audiences.

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