Alberto Torres Blandina
© Daniel Mordzinski
Alberto Torres Blandina is a writer, musician, playwright and a part-time journalist, although his main profession is teaching Spanish language and literature. He was rewarded the international novel prize in 2007 Las Dos Orillas for Cosas que nunca ocurrirían en Tokio. He was also a finalist for the Azorín Award in 2008 with the four-handed novel Hotel Postmoderno, and a finalist for the 2008 Café Gijón award with Niños rociando gato con gasolina.
In Contra los lobos (“Against the Wolves”), a man is trapped in his own house where he discovers a strange presence for which he has no explanation. He has no idea that his story is closely linked to two idealistic teenagers who sealed a violent pact and to a vagabond the police found in the mountains, with the fingertips burned and the whole body decorated/laced with religious signs. They are the sick. The rare. The different. The improper. They inhabit the margins and should adapt to fit. Obey and camouflage to go unnoticed. Because the fight is unequal. Because they cannot win. Not in a thousand years they could ... Or could they?, Paul thinks, ready to transcend all borders and to change the rules that should be changed. And Paul has a plan: flee from a false, arbitrary and imposed order. Find the door that will lead him to that place where everything we thought we knew stops serving. Where trails are not followed: they are drawn.
A dystopia that could happen tomorrow.
Valencia, Spain: All the animals are heading north as if drawn by a magnet. Even Micaela’s limping dog is determined to leave her home. Nairobi, Kenya: A cleaning woman reports her own son to her employers after he stole from them. Can a mother wish harm on her own child? These and other places all over the world are the settings for Alberto Torres Blandina’s new novel Con el frío (“With the Cold”), connected by short reports from an old boat called Esperanza that, like the animals, is heading north. On board there are men, women and children of all nationalities and races. Some think they are on another Ark. Others see themselves as offerings without knowing who or what for, just like no scientist can explain the continuing winter and the strange migration that is taking place.
Con el frio reflects on topics like knowledge, the truth and the complex fabric with which this hyper-communicated and yet at the same time autistic world is woven. The different voices flow together, intersecting or running parallel to each other to uncover a world that is in dire need of answers. Written with biting wit in concise language, these interconnected, original stories surprise the reader at every turn, casting their spell on the reader.
With the Cold ends with the promise of a happy globalization, taking a step towards what we already are but refuse to see.
In Cosas que nunca ocurrirían en Tokio (“Things that could never happen in Tokyo”), the protagonist Salvador Fuensanta works
in Madrid airport, on the verge of retirement. He sweeps the corridors and
watches people come and go. There are hundreds of stories he tells, whenever he
finds the time, to his friend Juana, an older kiosk attendant. Some of the
stories are unbelievable. But as he says, the truth is often unbelievable… and
often starts with a lie. Like that woman that mistook him from afar for an old
lover and even after she had realised that it was not him, decided to continue
with the mistaken identity in order to finalise an unfinished love story. Or
like the story about the strange Club of the Impossible Desires that designs
lives made to measure, and rewards every new member with a free partner. There
is the one about the young man who invented a language that removed all the bad
in the world or the scientist who came across the man he himself should have
been according to mathematical logic.
This novel was compared to Muriel Barbery's bestseller "The Elegance of the Hedgehog". The author's German publishing house DVA sold 15,000 copies.
A ticket to a delightful literary flight.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The stories are full of imagination, surprise, and life.
Imbued with tenderness, humour and fantasy, his stories are to be savoured with pleasure.
Without lifting a finger, this man takes us on a journey.
Full of spirit!
This first novel has the freshness of a mint candy and the charm of a children's book. Irresistible.
Alberto Torres Blandina constructs a novel out of a light movement, and from there he provokes a real feast for those who love good literature.
There is nothing easier, we learn in Niños rociando gato con gasolina (“Kids splashing Cat with Gasoline”), than convincing a father his son is special. That he will be amongst the responsibles for changing the world, and for bringing a new spiritual and peaceful era to earth. The Aquarius Age. And then tell him about a school for children like them, where they will learn to develop their abilities before the world destroys them.
Since the end of the seventies the hippie movement and later on the new age believed in the Age of Aquarius and with this the widespread theory that its first leaders were being born amongst us. This is the story of four children, and the adults they became, chosen to lead the future and educated by a man inspired by his belief in one beautiful idea.
In his new novel Mapa desplegable
Jaime has a photo store, and although he loves his wife and daughter, everything seems predictable to him. His hobby is collecting his customers' sexiest nude photos. One of them is Alberto, who photographs women in explicit poses until suddenly there are only romantic pictures of one girl. When Jaime happens to come across her at a station one day, he pretends to recognise her, introducing himself as Pedro. Elisa goes along with his story, and the two of them invent a new present.
Elisa was happy with Alberto until she became the victim of a rape. After that, Alberto saw himself as a monster, sex as impure, and he withdrew increasingly, before finally walking out without explaining himself to Elisa. Shortly after that, Elisa meets the mysterious Pedro and begins a new life with him, promising to one another never to let their relationship become routine – until their carefully built paradise begins to crumble.
In a clear, authentic language, the three protagonists each narrate their own lives. What starts out an entertaining and witty read soon becomes a deeply moving story about human identity and good and evil that will occupy the reader long after the last page.
Contra los lobos
Badajoz: Aristas Martínez 2016, 208 p.
Con el frío
Badajoz: Aristas Martínez 2015, 224 p.
Cómo enamorarse en siete semanas (o le devolvemos su dinero)
manuscript, 218 p.
Mapa desplegable del laberinto
Selected as one of the Best Books of Spring 2011 by El País
Madrid: Siruela 2011, 224 p.
France: Métailié 2011
Cosas que nunca ocurrirían en Tokio
Barcelona: Norma 2009, 157 p.
English sample translation available
France: Métailié 2009, pb 2012 ● Germany: DVA 2010, Random House Audio 2010, pb btb 2012 ● Greece: Opera 2009 ● Guatemala: F&G Editores 2010 ● Israel: Keter 2013 ● Italy: Guanda 2009 ● Portugal: Quetzal 2011
Niños rociando gato con gasolina
Madrid: Siruela 2009, 191 p.
(film rights under option)
As part of the authors' collective "Hotel Postmoderno":
La Coruña: InÉditor 2008, 205 p.
De la Habana un barco
Madrid: Lengua de Trapo 2010, 237 p.