THE DEAD WRITER, N˙ria A˝ˇ. Translated by Debbie Garrick
Anna is a middle-aged writer who has bought up her daughter alone. In the present Berta is grown up, and the desire to meet her father, who she has only ever seen in a photograph, increases as her relationship with her boyfriend reaches crisis point. Hans works in a factory and has a sister, Clara, a misunderstood girl who is infatuated with this guy who rides a motorbike.
But, above all, this is the story of Anna Flieder, who decides to write a more biographic-style novel and her inspiration takes the form of the man who abandoned her all those years ago.
"The story shows the process of creation of a literary work (...) Itĺs a novel aimed at those who like to read, those who let themselves be absorbed into the reading because it requires a lot of imagination and there are lots of things which are just hinted at." -Review in La Ma˝ana.
"This book tells the story of Anna, a writer, and the world and lives of the people around her. Anna lives her literary life as her real one, suffering from a kind of schizophrenia as the characters in her books collide with her life in their desire to see the light. The original was published in Spain in 2008." -Debbie Garrick, Translator
Reading | Novel excerpt of 'The Dead Writer', by N˙ria A˝ˇ
The Dead Writer
N˙ria A˝ˇ is a Catalan/Spanish writer, translator and speaker at international conferences, where she usually talks about literary creation, the cinema, cities or authors like Elfriede Jelinek, Patricia Highsmith, Salka Viertel, Alexandre Dumas fils, Franz Werfel or Karen Blixen. She has shown her work at the following universities and institutions: Lleida University (UdL), T˙nez University, Jaen University (UJA), The International University of Andalucia (UNIA), The High Council for Scientific Investigation (CISC-Madrid), The Sysmńn Kirjasto Library in Finland, The Writersĺ Association of Shanghai (SWA), Fudan University in China, The East China University, Sinan Mansion, The Instituto Cervantes in Shanghai, the Conrad Festival in Poland, the Massolit Bookshop, Bar Bazza and the Instituto Cervantes in Krakow along with other libraries and secondary or higher education establishments. She is also a member of various juries at international competitions. Some of her works, including novels, short stories and essays have been published and translated into Spanish, French, English, Italian, German, Polish, Chinese, Latvian, Portuguese, Dutch and Greek.
Her first published novel Els nens de lĺElisa ([The children of Elisa] Omicron, 2006) was awarded third prize in the 24th Ramon Llull Novel Award, one of the most prestigious awards for Catalan literature, awarded by Editorial Planeta. Lĺescriptora morta ([The Dead Writer, 2020] Omicron) was published in 2008; N˙vols baixos ([Lowering clouds, 2020] Omicron) in 2009; La mirada del fill ([The sonĺs gaze] Abadia) in 2012; El salˇn de los artistas exiliados en California ([The Salon of Exiled Artists in California, 2020), a biography on Jewish screenwriter Salka Viertel.
N˙ria won the 18th Joan Fuster Prize for Fiction Ciutat dĺAlmenara, fourth place for international writing at the 2018 Shanghai get-Together and has been awarded with prestigious international grants: Nuoren Voiman Liitto (Finland, 2016), Shanghai Writing Program (China, 2016), Baltic Centre (Sweden, 2017), IWTCR (Greece, 2017), Krakow UNESCO City of Literature (Poland, 2018), IWTH (Latvia, 2019) and IWP (China, 2020).
Her writing centres around the charactersĺ psychology, often through the use of anti-heroes. The characters are what stands out most about her work, they are generally more relevant than the topic itself. With her feminine, somewhat sentimental introspection, she finds a unique balance between the marginal worlds of parallels. Her novels are open to a wide variety of topics, they deal with important social and current themes like injustice or lack of communication between individuals. The basic plot of her novels does not tell you everything there is to know. By using this method, A˝ˇ attempts to involve the reader so that they ask their own questions to discover the deeper meaning of the content.