The novelist, one of the most important figures in Spanish literature, has died at 61 years of age as a result of cancer
The writer Almudena Grandes, one of the most important figures in Spanish literature, died this Saturday at the age of 61 as a result of cancer. The author, who became known with ‘The ages of Lulu’, announced a little over a month ago in one of her opinion columns that she had suffered from this disease for just over a year. He did it in ‘El País weekly’. He then claimed to be “in the best hands.” In that text he also explained that he had received the diagnosis during a routine check-up and that some intestinal complications derived from his disease prevented him from being at the last Book Fair, but he confirmed that he was still writing and working on a new novel.
“Perhaps it will reappear with hair, perhaps without hair, with a curly mane or with the hairstyle of my dear Josefina Báquer, as my grandmother called her,” she wrote in her column, where I promised that I would sit down “in a booth to sign copies and look into the eyes of my readers. Unfortunately, it could not be.
It was 1989 the year of his literary baptism with ‘The ages of Lulú’, a work for which he won the Erotic Narrative Award La Sonrisa Vertical, from Editorial Tusquets. A year later, the story of that 15-year-old girl madly in love with a university professor was taken to the cinema by the hand of Bigas Luna. That story, which already gave a good example of his joyous narrative style and an innate ability to connect with the reader, opened the doors to the life that Grandes had always dreamed of and that he never abandoned.
Then there would be titles such as ‘I will call you Friday’ (1991), ‘Malena is a tango name’ (1994), ‘Atlas of human geography’ (1998), ‘Los aires humana’ (2002), ‘Castillos de cardboard’ ( 2004) or ‘The frozen heart’ (2007), many of which received their corresponding audiovisual adaptation.
It was precisely with this latest novel, winner of the José Manuel Lara Prize, an obsession of the writer since 2002 and for which she was documented reading more than two hundred books about the Spanish Civil War, where the author noticed for the first time in the lives of the Republican exiles and their descendants. Intellectually and socially committed and sensitized to historical memory, she then became the narrator who gave voice to the defeated of the Spanish twentieth century.
An admirer of Benito Pérez Galdós, in 2010 she began an unusual feat and challenge, with the ‘Episodes of an Endless War’, a saga of six novels that delved into the most terrible of the 20th century, something like her own «national episodes» . Literary and planning hyperactive, by the time she released ‘Inés y la feliz’, awarded the Critics Prize, among other distinctions, Grandes already had in mind what she was going to tell in the next five volumes. There was no reason why she didn’t mind being greeted, half a joke half seriously like Benita Grandes Galdós. In the novelist’s centennial year, she was beyond proud of the comparison. “My mother was called Benita, so it would have been easy to share a name with Don Benito,” she explained smilingly in February of last year when she presented the fifth, ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’, which she dedicated “to all those women who could not dare to make their own decisions without being called whores. ”His plan was to close the saga, which has sold more than a million copies and which won him awards such as the National Narrative in 2018 for ‘The patients of doctor García’, in 1964 When this Madrilenian sponsored by Galdós was a four-year-old baby, the project is now unfinished.
Also an analyst of his time, he assured that the country “has a big problem with the right wing, that every time it loses power it behaves as if it had been stolen.”
The 2018 Liber Prize awarded by the editors is expanded by the narrator “to create a literary work focused on women and on the recent history of Spain.”
Several of his stories have been brought to the big screen and have won awards such as the Lara Foundation, the Madrid and Seville Bookstore awards, the Archbishop Juan de San Clemente, the Cálamo, the Rapallo Carige and the Prix Méditerranée. For his civic commitment, he received the Julián Besteiro awards for Arts and Letters, the Lawyers of Atocha and the Historical Memory of the Region of Murcia.