Loriga, Ray 1967-
LORIGA, Ray 1967-
PERSONAL: Born 1967, in Madrid, Spain; immigrated to the United States, c. 2000.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Author and screenwriter.
AWARDS, HONORS: El Sitio de Bilbao book prize, for Héroes.
Lo peor de todo, Editorial Debate (Madrid, Spain), 1992.
Héroes, Plaza & Janés (Barcelona, Spain), 1993.
Días extraños, Europeo & La Tripulación (Madrid, Spain), 1994.
Caídos del cielo, Plaza & Janés (Barcelona, Spain), 1995, translation by Kristina Cordero published as My Brother's Gun, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1997.
La pistola de mi hermano (screenplay; based on Caídos del cielo), UIP (Spain), 1997.
Tokio ya no nos quiere, 1999, translation by John King published as Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, Grove Press (New York, NY), 2003.
El hombre que inventó Manhattan (title means "The Man Who Invented Manhattan"), El Aleph Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 2004.
The Seventh Day (screenplay), Lolafilms (Madrid, Spain), 2004.
Also author of El canto de la tripulación, 1992.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A novel and a number of screenplays.
SIDELIGHTS: Ray Loriga is a Spanish-born author and screenwriter who now lives in Manhattan. He began writing at a young age, first for underground publications in Madrid. He told Richard Marshall in an interview for 3 A.M. Online that "when Franco died, there was suddenly an explosion of artistic activity. After forty years of not being able to do much, everybody was doing something. It was a very fun time to be in Madrid, a good city to be in." Loriga's father was a cartoonist, and books were a part of their household. Loriga chose not to attend college, however, and left home at age seventeen to try a number of different jobs. "I was dreaming of the Kerouac thing and Bukowski: you didn't need to go anywhere to be a writer, you just had to be there and read and live, so that was my plan. Funny enough, it worked out pretty well. I published my first book when I was twenty-three and then I just kept going."
Loriga's best-selling novel, Caídos del cielo, was translated into English as My Brother's Gun and adapted for film as La pistola de mi hermano. An unnamed narrator tells how his handsome brother finds a gun loaded with three bullets and uses it to kill a security guard who is hassling him. The brother steals a car, and its occupant, a beautiful girl, goes along for the ride as he makes his getaway. The point of the story is how the media twists the news, and in this case, speculates that the gunman is a gay, cold-blooded killer. The narrator who, along with his mother, has been forced into the public eye, finds it difficult to overcome the media depiction of his brother.
A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that in My Brother's Gun Loriga paints "the fine, fragile line that separates functional life—for young people in particular—from the deadly fatalism of this impassive murderer." Library Journal reviewer Jim Dwyer commented that "the process of victimization . . . is depicted skillfully and nondidactically." In reviewing the film version of the story, Variety critic Jonathan Holland called it a "languid Hispanic reprise of pics such as Kalifornia and Natural Born Killers" and said that it is "the best Spanish youth movie of its kind to date."
Loriga's Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore is narrated by an unnamed man who is a salesman for a drug company. In this futuristic story, the narrator sells the drugs STM and LTM. Because these drugs erase either short-term or long-term memory, users are able to erase the memory of failed love affairs and other sad events; the drugs are also given to child prostitutes in Thailand, so that they will forget their abuse and remain the innocent, virginal victims so desired by sex tourists. As the novel progresses, it becomes apparent that the narrator's own heavy drug use is erasing both his memory and his personality.
"Other authors whose influence this writer clearly feels—Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Kurt Vonnegut—might have played this twist as action or satire," wrote Andrew Sean Greer in a review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore for the Washington Post, "and that would have made a clever novel, but Loriga bravely ignores cleverness. Instead, the novel reads as desolate and terribly sad." Unexplained dead spaces in the story are the result of the narrator's own memory loss, and eventually the company recalls him when his brain is "a colander, an open net through which all the fish slip." Vanessa Baird wrote in New Internationalist that it "is an ambitious and demanding novel which fuses a witty and scathing attack on consumerism with a meditation on the crucial role memory plays in raising us above bestial self-gratification." Los Angeles Book Review contributor Susan Salter Reynolds called Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore "a nihilist's novel, a portrait of a disintegrating mind."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, September 15, 1997, Jim O'Laughlin, review of My Brother's Gun, p. 208; July, 2004, Carl Hays, review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, p. 1828.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2004, review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, p. 463.
Library Journal, August, 1997, Jim Dwyer, review of My Brother's Gun, p. 132.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, September 19, 2004, Susan Salter Reynolds, review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, p. R11.
New Internationalist, October, 2003, Vanessa Baird, review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, p. 31.
Publishers Weekly, July 14, 1997, review of My Brother's Gun, p. 63; April 26, 2004, review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, p. 37.
Variety, October 13, 1997, Lisa Nesselson, review of Carne tremula, p. 84; December 1, 1997, Jonathan Holland, review of La pistola de mi hermano, p. 75; May 10, 2004, Jonathan Holland, review of The Seventh Day, p. 47.
Washington Post, August 1, 2004, Andrew Sean Greer, review of Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore, p. D8.
3 A.M. Online,http://www.3ammagazine.com/ (January, 2004), Richard Marshall, interview with Loriga.*