© Derek Ogbourne
Susana Medina was born in Hampshire in 1966. She holds a PhD in Spanish-Latin American Literature, a Masters in Hispanic Studies from the University of London and an Italian degree in History of Art from University College London. She has been awarded the Max Aub International Short Story Prize and received a writing grant from the Arts Council of England. Her story Oestrogen is featured in Best European Fiction 2014. Medina has published various essays on literature, art, cinema and photography, and has curated various well-received international art shows in derelict spaces. Her short movie ‘Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys’ is available on MySpace. Her short movie ‘Leather-bound Stories’ (co-directed with Derek Ogbourne) was shown at various galleries and museums in London.
In her debut novel Philosophical Toys, Susana Medina achieves a rare feat: with a unique voice, she combines enjoyable philosophical deliberations with an appealing story.
Nina loses her mother when she is only six years old and grows up with her father in Almería. Wanting to become an artist, she goes to London, the arts metropolis. When her father starts to suffer from Alzheimer’s and moves into a nursing home, Nina clears out the attic in order to sell the house - and makes a surprising discovery: 95 pairs of her mother’s shoes, each one carefully packed away in its shoe box. Who was this woman? Was she really the dazzling actress Nina believed her to be? What feelings did her early death provoke in her father? And what is the meaning of all these shoes? Nina engages herself in the topic of fetishism, gaining astounding insight. In her relationship with her father, his illness and the experience of loss, she questions the independent existence of objects and the meaning they have for our lives.
Medina’s thoughts meander, alter, deviate, and come back again to their point of origin. With her clever, laid-back, witty perspective, she takes the reader on an entertaining stroll where there is much to discover.
Mysterious and powerful.
Susana Medina is a genius!
A prose both spare and lush, a commendable tension about the enterprise.
Exuberant, intelligent, touching, intimate and playful, Philosophical Toys is a joyful invitation.
Please also visit the author’s website:
Champaign/London/Dublin: Dalkey Archive Press 2015, 256 p.
Spain: Pen International Magazine 2010 (excerpt)
Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys (24 min. film)
Dir. Susana Medina
film available at MySpace TV
shown at various galleries and museums in London
Red Tales Cuentos rojos
(bilingual edition, Spanish-English)
Valencia: Araña editorial 2012
Cuentos Rojos, Red Tales, Contes Rouges
London: Cult Fictions 2005
Souvenirs del Accidente
(poems, ballads and aphorisms)
Valencia: Editorial Germanía 2004
Short Prose Collection Max Aub
International Short Story Award Max Aub
Participation in anthologies (selection)
London: Dalkey Archive Press 2014
Featured in Best European Fiction 2014
City Sickness (The Bionic Woman’s Walk)
London, New York, Paris: Social Disease 2007
La primera vez (Donde las mariposas revoletean)
Madrid: Santillana/ Aguilar 2000, pp. 147-64
Short stories in magazines and journals (selection)
The Cloning Passion, A Sort of Footnote
(Philosophical Toys excerpt)
3: AM Magazine, July 2015
The Penis Nightmare
(Philosophical Toys excerpt)
The Review of Contemporary Fiction 2013
Red Tales Cuentos Rojos
Excerpt, Writers' Hub 2013
Excerpt, Beat the Dust 2013
Excerpt, The Space of the Tangible Hallucination 2013
Suddenly Berlin in London
Dialogue Books 2012
El Europeo (Ella)
Madrid 1994, pp. 44-7.