García Sánchez, Javier 1955–
GARCÍA SÁNchez, Javier 1955–
PERSONAL: Born April 14, 1955, in Barcelona, Spain; married Maria Angeles Arregui; children: Amaya García Arregui, Anibal García Arregui.
ADDRESSES: Home—Paseo del Timon 32, Castelldefels Playa, 08860 Barcelona, Spain. Agent—Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells S.A., Diagonal 580, 08021 Barcelona, Spain.
CAREER: Writer. Professor, teaching theory of the novel at the Ateneo Barcelones, Aula de Letras, and Asociasion de Escritores, Spain.
AWARDS, HONORS: Pio Baroja Prize, 1985, for Lady of the South Wind; Herralde prize for the novel for La historia mas triste, 1991; Salambo prize, 2002.
Conocer Hoelderlin y su obra (essays), Dopesa (Barcelona, Spain), 1979.
La ira de la luz (poetry), V. Pozanco (Barcelona, Spain), 1980.
Conversaciones con la joven filosofia espanola, Ediciones Penainsula (Barcelona, Spain), 1980.
Continua el misterio de los ojos verdes (novel), Montesinos (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.
Mutantes de invierno (short stories), Laertes (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.
Teoria de la eternidad (short stories), Laertes (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.
La dama del viento sur (novel), Montesinos (Barcelona, Spain), 1985, translation by Michael Bradburn Ruster and Myrna R. Villa published as Lady of the South Wind, North Point Press (San Francisco, CA), 1990.
Ultima carta de amor de Carolina von Guenderrode a Bettina Brentano (novel), Montesinos (Barcelona, Spain), 1986.
Los amores secretos, Montesinos (Barcelona, Spain), 1987.
El mecanografo, Montesinos (Barcelona, Spain), 1989.
Critica de la Razon Impura, Edhasa (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.
La historia mas triste, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.
El Alpe d'Huez, Plaza and Janes Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.
La vida fosil, Ediciones B (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.
Indurain: Una pasion templada (biography), Plaza and Janes (Barcelona, Spain), 1997, translation by Jeremy Munday published as Indurain: A Tempered Passion, Mousehold Press (Norwich, England), 2002.
El sueno escipion, Acento Editorial (Madrid, Spain), 1998.
Los otros, Ediciones B (Barcelona, Spain), 1998, translation by Margaret Jull Costa published as The Others, Dedalus (Sawtry, Cambridgeshire, England), 2002.
La mujer de ninguna parte, Ediciones B (Barcelona, Spain), 2000.
Falta alma, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 2001.
Dios se ha ido, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 2003.
Ella, Dracula, Planeta (Barcelona, Spain), 2005.
Contributor to journals, including Quimera and Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos. Columnist, El Mundo: Catalunya. Los otros has been translated into French.
ADAPTATIONS: Los otros was adapted as a film, Nos Miran (title means "They're Watching Us"), produced in Spain by Columbia TriStar, 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Javier García Sánchez is a writer and professor in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to teaching classes on the theory of the novel, he is also a successful writer of mystery and horror novels, works on philosophy, and a biography of Spanish bicycling champion Miguel Indurain. La dama del viento sur, translated into English as Lady of the South Wind, was his first book to reach an English-speaking audience. It tells the story of Hans Kruger, an employee of a German explosives manufacturer. Hans falls madly in love with a fellow worker, Olga Dittersdorf, but she spurns him. Hans nevertheless becomes increasingly obsessed with Olga. Hans narrates most of the story from a mental institution, where he has had himself committed after he attacks an elderly coworker with no apparent provocation. Hans's version of events is complimented by a second narrative voice, that of Andreas Doerpfeld, a mutual acquaintance of Hans and Olga. After a lengthy hospitalization, Hans is pronounced cured and sent back to work, but seeing Olga on a regular basis again is lethal to his psyche. She is never really aware of her effect on him and does not realize that when he blows himself up with explosives, it is because of his frustrated feelings for her. García Sánchez' skillful handling of the sensitive subject matter, along with his graceful prose, won him the Pio Baroja prize for the novel. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews predicted that Hans Kruger's monologue "might become one of the great tours de force on the theme" of manic, unreturned love.
Los otros concerns a character identified as R. V., who was once a respected police officer but has lapsed into catatonia after attempting to murder his wife and child. For fifteen years he remains in a remote mental hospital, the only words he utters being "They are watching us." Two journalists work together to decipher R. V.'s journal, which contains mostly sentence fragments about optical illusions and perception. They travel to the hospital, and as they watch R. V.'s motionless body, García Sánchez traces the fallen man's memories to reveal what led him to the brink of murder. Roberta Johnson, reviewing the novel's English translation, The Others, for Booklist, found it to be an "intriguing book about the psychological nature of fear" that achieves a "disturbing effect." S. B. Kelly, a contributor to Scotland on Sunday, advised that García Sánchez' "eerie little chiller thrives by making everyday occurrences (like catching an image in the corner of your eye) the driving force for the subsequent spiral into madness. Although the ending is a tad melodramatic, it more than manages to induce a ripple of gooseflesh."
García Sánchez is also the author of Indurain: Una pasion templada (translated into English as Indurain: A Tempered Passion), a biography of Spanish bicycling champion Miguel Indurain.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
García Sánchez, Javier, The Others, translated by Mar garet Jull Costa, Dedalus (Sawtry, Cambridgeshire, England), 2002.
Booklist, May 1, 2003, Roberta Johnson, review of The Others, p. 1544.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 1989, p. 1769.
Library Journal, February 15, 1990, Jack Shreve, review of Lady of the South Wind, p. 212.
New York Times Book Review, March 4, 1990, Ilan Stavans, review of Lady of the South Wind, p. 24.
Publishers Weekly, January 5, 1990, Sybil Steinberg, review of Lady of the South Wind, p. 61.
Scotland on Sunday (Edinburgh, Scotland), March 9, 2003, S. B. Kelly, review of The Others, p. 6.
Variety, October 21, 2002, Jonathan Holland, review of Nos Miran, p. 35.
World Literature Today, winter, 1987, p. 74.