Bonilla, Juan 1966-
Bonilla, Juan 1966-
Bonilla, Juan 1966-
PERSONAL: Born 1966, in Jerez, Spain.
ADDRESSES: Home— Sevilla, Spain. E-mail— [email protected]
CAREER: Writer, poet, journalist. El Mundo, columnist.
AWARDS, HONORS: Luis Cernuda de Poesía Prize, 1992; Biblioteca Breve Prize, 2003, for The Nubian Prince.
El que apaga la luz (short stories), Pre-Textos (Valencia, Spain), 1994.
Partes de guerra (poetry), Pre-Textos (Valencia, Spain), 1994.
Yo soy, yo eres, yo es (novella), Ediciones Imperdonables (Málaga, Spain), 1995.
Nadie conoce a nadie (novel), Ediciones B (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.
Cansados de estar muertos (novel), Espasa (Madrid, Spain), 1998.
La compañía de los solitarios (short stories), PreTextos (Valencia, Spain), 1999.
La noche del Skylab (short stories), Espasa Calpe (Madrid, Spain), 2000.
El Belvedere (poetry), Pre-Textos (Valencia, Spain), 2002.
Los príncipes nubios (novel), Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 2003, translation by Esther Allen published as The Nubian Prince, Metropolitan Books (New York, NY), 2006.
El estadio de Mármol (short stories), Editoral Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 2005.
Buzón Vacío (poems), 2006.
Also translator (from English to Spanish) of Boyhood by J.M. Coetzee and of poems by A.E. Housman.
ADAPTATIONS: Nadie conoce a nadie was adapted for a feature film, 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Spanish journalist and writer Juan Bonilla is the author of numerous novels, short story and poetry collections, as well as nonfiction books of essays. His award-winning 2003 novel, Los príncipes nubios, was translated and published in English in 2006 as The Nubian Prince, earning a good deal of critical acclaim.
The Nubian Prince is a work in which the “international sex trade becomes the unlikely source of an ironic metamorphosis,” according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. The novel is narrated by Moises Froissard, a twenty-two-year-old artist and former humanitarian worker from Seville who becomes a talent scout for an organization, Club Olympus, which poses as a relief organization. In reality, it is a recruiting agency for prostitutes for the wealthy around the world. Thus, famines and floods are good times for Club Olympus, for they produce refugees and displaced persons. It is Moises’s job to find the most attractive of these and recruit them. Now Moises is sent by the Club’s director, Carmen, to find the Nubian Prince, a prizefighter and a perfect African specimen. Along the way, the callow Moises develops a conscience, which complicates his mission. The Kirkus Reviews critic concluded, “Not exactly effortlessly readable, but a skillful treatment of its unusual and tricky subject.” Similarly, a Publishers Weekly contributor found the novel “bittersweet,” and Booklist writer Hazel Rochman called it an “intimate first-person narrative.” Library Journal contributor Stephen Morrow had further praise for the “irreverent, self-absorbed tone that keeps this novel unexpectedly lighthearted, though it easily could have been tragic.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, June 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of The Nubian Prince, p. 33.
Clarín Revista de Nueva Literatura, February, 2003, Javier Garcia Rodriguez, “Juan Bonilla: Maneras de vivir.”
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2006, review of The Nubian Prince, p. 477.
Library Journal, June 1, 2006, Stephen Morrow, review of The Nubian Prince, p. 106.
Publishers Weekly, May 29, 2006, review of The Nubian Prince, p. 37.
Barcelona Review, http://www.barcelonareview.com/ (November 16, 2006), “Juan Bonilla.”
Catedra Miguel Delibes, http://www.catedramdelibes.com/ (November 16, 2006), “Juan Bonilla.”
Holtzbrinck Publishers Web site, http://www.holtzbrinckus.com/ (November 16, 2006), “Juan Bonilla.”
Juan Bonilla Home Page, http://es.geocities.com/ juanbonillaweb (November 16, 2006).
[Sketch reviewed by Webmaster, Natalia Zarco.]