Grandes, Almudena 1960–

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Grandes, Almudena 1960–

PERSONAL:

Born 1960, in Madrid, Spain; married Luis García Montero (a poet). Education: Attended Complutensian University, Madrid, Spain.

CAREER:

Writer and novelist.

AWARDS, HONORS:

La Sonrisa Vertical Prize, 1989, for Las edades de Lulú; Crisol Readers Prize.

WRITINGS:

Las edades de Lulú (novel), Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 1989, translation by Sonia Soto published as The Ages of Lulu, Grove Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Te llamaré Viernes (novel), Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 1991.

Malena es un nombre de tango (novel), Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 1994.

Modelos de mujer (short stories; title means "Models of Woman"), Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 1996.

Atlas de geografía humana (novel), Tusquets (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

Los Aires difíciles (novel), Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 2002, translation by Sonia Soto published as The Wind from the East, Seven Stories Press (New York, NY), 2007.

Mercado de Barceló (short stories), illustrated by Ana Juan, Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 2003.

Castillos de cartón (novel), Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 2004.

Estaciones de paso (short stories), Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 2005.

El Corazón helado (novel), Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 2007.

Contributor to books. Author's books have been translated into twenty-one languages.

ADAPTATIONS:

The Ages of Lulu and Malena es un nombre de tango were adapted for film, 1996.

SIDELIGHTS:

Almudena Grandes is an acclaimed, best-selling novelist in Spain and has also achieved an international reputation. She garnered wide acclaim with her first novel, Las edades de Lulú. Published in English as The Ages of Lulu, the novel reached the million-plus mark in sales worldwide and tells the erotic story of Maria Luisa Ruiz-Poveday y Garcia de la Casa, commonly referred to as Lulu. Seduced by a friend of her older brother, Lulu goes on to study under him at university, where he introduces her to unusual sexual practices. A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to The Ages of Lulu as a "luridly inventive first novel." John Shreffler, writing in Booklist, called the novel "powerfully written and imparting a disturbing, immediate impact." The reviewer went on to note that the author had written a "powerful essay into the darker side of female sexuality."

Malena es un nombre de tango, the author's third novel, is narrated by Malena, which is also the name of a tango. A tomboy at the beginning of the novel, Malena goes through a sexual awakening as she encounters her first love and then marries. At the same time, Malena begins to delve into her family history and ultimately uncovers family secrets. "This novel is a ‘Buddenbrooks’ narrated by a bright, naughty woman at odds with her world, liberating her animal self," wrote a contributor to the Economist.

In her 1996 short-story collection titled Modelos de mujer ("Models of Woman"), Grandes presents stories about love which are all told by a diverse cast of women in often unusual situations. For example, the author includes a ghost story set in an asylum as well as a story about being brought up by a maid in Madrid. Another tale features an alcoholic mother who brings her daughter under control through the use of drugs. "All the stories are funny," wrote a contributor to the Economist.

Grandes's 2002 novel, Los Aires difíciles, was published in English as The Wind from the East. The story features Sara Gomez and Juan Olmedo, who both retire to a small coastal town to find that they are neighbors. The couple becomes close, first through their sharing of a maid, who tells each respective employer about the other. Eventually, they meet and form a companionship that they believe will help them forget the tragedies from their past. Leda Schiavo, writing in the School Library Journal, noted that the author's "appealing story and entertaining descriptions will hold readers' attention." A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented on the book's length, noting: "Grandes's serenely composed, ponderous work celebrates the healing power of friendship. It's long-running, but ultimately satisfying."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1994, John Shreffler, review of The Ages of Lulu, p. 1770.

Economist, July 20, 1996, reviews of Malena es un nombre de tango and Modelos de mujer, p. 14; November 13, 1999, review of Atlas de geografía humana, p. 14.

Internet Bookwatch, August, 2007, review of The Wind from the East.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2006, review of The Wind from the East, p. 1146.

Library Journal, June 1, 1994, David A. Berona, review of The Ages of Lulu, p. 158.

Publishers Weekly, May 2, 1994, review of The Ages of Lulu, p. 280; October 23, 2006, review of The Wind from the East, p. 30.

School Library Journal, December, 2002, Leda Schiavo, review of Los Aires difíciles, p. 36.

Variety, April 17, 2006, Jonathan Holland, "Rough Winds," review of film Los Aires difíciles, p. 31.

World Literature Today, spring, 1995, review of Malena es un nombre de tango.

ONLINE

Almudena Grandes Home Page,http://www.almudenagrandes.com (October 9, 2007).

EPDLP.com,http://www.epdlp.com/ (October 9, 2007), brief profile of author.

Escritoras.com,http://www.escritoras.com/ (October 9, 2007), brief profile of author.

Orion Books,http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/ (October 9, 2007), brief profile of author.

Seven Stories Press,http://www.sevenstories.com/ (October 9, 2007), brief profile of author.

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Grandes, Almudena 1960–

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