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Granta names 22 best young Spanish-language novelists

October 1, 2010 |  7:43 am

Granta_announcement At a news conference in Madrid, Granta and its sibling literary journal Granta en Español announced the 22 best young Spanish-language novelists, all of whom will appear in the magazines' November issues. It's the first time that Granta, based in England, has created a young novelists list for works written in a language other than English -- previous lists have focused on top British and American writers.

Andrés Barba – Spain, b. 1975
Oliverio Coelho – Argentina, b. 1977
Andrés Ressia Colino – Uruguay, b. 1977
Federico Falco – Argentina, b. 1977
Pablo Gutiérrez – Spain, b. 1978
Rodrigo Hasbún – Bolivia, b. 1981
Sònia Hernández – Spain, b. 1976
Carlos Labbé – Chile, b. 1977
Javier Montes – Spain, b. 1976
Elvira Navarro – Spain, b. 1978
Matías Néspolo – Argentina, b. 1975
Andrés Neuman – Argentina, b. 1977
Alberto Olmos – Spain, b. 1975
Pola Oloixarac – Argentina, b. 1977
Antonio Ortuño – Mexico, b. 1976
Patricio Pron – Argentina, b. 1975
Lucía Puenzo – Argentina, b. 1976
Santiago Roncagliolo – Peru, b. 1975
Andrés Felipe Solano – Colombia, b. 1977
Samanta Schweblin – Argentina, b. 1978
Carlos Yushimito – Peru, b. 1977
Alejandro Zambra – Chile, b. 1975

The New York Times reports that about two-thirds of the writers have not yet been published in English, making their appearance in the November Granta issue their debuts.

The novelists were selected by a panel of six judges: the two editors of Granta en Español; Guatemalan American novelist Francisco Goldman; Catalan author Mercedes Monmany; former Latin American correspondent Isabel Hilton, who is British; and Argentinian writer/filmmaker Edgaro Cozarinsky.

Argentina has a strong showing: 8 of the 22 writers are from there. Several have lived in the U.S., including four who reside here now. Carlos Yushimito is attending graduate school at Brown. "I'm the kind of writer who has always circulated in small editions by alternative presses," he told the New York Times. "This puts me in a different sphere."

Whether that sphere will make it to Los Angeles is not yet known. Granta has announced events for its young spanish novelists issue in London, New York and Miami, but nothing has yet been planned for Los Angeles, a representative told The Times. It would be a shame if Granta en Espanol bypassed California -- or Texas or New Mexico, for that matter -- as the literary journal tries to reach out to Spanish-language readers.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: The announcement in Madrid. Credit: Granta