Luis Leante [ Spain ]
Luis Leante was born in Caravaca de la Cruz, west of the Spanish city Murcia, in 1963. He studied classical philology in Murcia. He published his first book in 1983 and has been a professional writer ever since. As such, he has written works in many different genres, including short stories, novels, plays, poems and even screenplays. In addition, he has continued his academic career and is now a professor of Latin.
He was able to achieve critical acclaim with his début work, »Camino del jueves rojo« (1983; t: The path of red Thursday), a novella about the turmoil in his home town Caravaca after the Spanish Civil War. The book was awarded the Premio Albacara de Novela Corta. He then continued writing novellas and short stories, published in the collections »El último viaje de Efraín y otros relatos« (1987; t: Ephraim’s last trip and other stories) and »El criador de canarios« (1996; t: The canary breeder). In terms of style, these are usually existentialist narratives that deal with themes such as the isolation of modern human beings and the fear of death. In his first full-length novel, »Paisaje con río y Baracoa de Fondo« (1997; t: Landscape with river and Baracoa in the background), the author tackles existentialism once again, but links it to magical realism in the manner of Miguel Ángel Asturias or Salman Rushdie. It is the story of a Cuban painter who, after years in exile, returns to the home town of his childhood. Rather than perceiving the bleak changes that have taken place, he sees everything as if he is still (or once again) the child who grew up there long ago. The author’s further works cover a wide spectrum of themes, from the historical – the reign of Julius Caesar, the late Middle Ages, or post-war Spain – to the humorous, even love stories. He achieved his international breakthrough with the novel »Mira si yo te querré« (2007; Engl. »See How Much I Love You«, 2009). In this love story, the author takes the reader off to the Franco-era Spanish Sahara and the area then occupied by Morocco. This dense, historical novel, which springs back and forth between timelines and narrators, is reminiscent of Michael Ondaatje’s »The English Patient« both in terms of form and content. Yet Leante’s novel is wholly his own – an extremely atmospheric tale of an often neglected period in Spanish history.
The author has received many Spanish literary prizes. Recent awards include the prestigious Premio Alfaguara de Novela and the Premio Mandarache. Luis Leante lives and works in Alicante.
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