Lucía Etxebarria was born in Valencia in 1966 and has a daughter, a dog, three tattoos and innumerable scars of both the visible and invisible variety. She has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Aberdeen and her work has been translated into 14 languages.
Etxebarria became famous after her novel Beatriz y los Cuerpos Celestes won the prestigious Nadal Prize in 1996 and since then she has become a well-known writer and outspoken commentator on topics including book piracy and the role of women in society. She is the author of over 15 books (novels and essays), including Amor, curiosidad, prozac y dudas (1997), Nosotras que no somos como las demás (1999) and De todo lo visible y lo invisible (2001). Her work usually centres around female characters who are looking for an emotional space of their own. Her novels and essays analyse the concept of gender and feminine sexuality and defend the rights of women on both a social and literary level.
She has won many prestigious literary prizes in Spain, including the Nadal Prize (1997), the Primavera Prize (2001) and the Planeta Prize (2004).
Featured Reading Group Title
Beatriz y los cuerpos celestes (Beatriz And The Heavenly Bodies)
Beatriz and the Heavenly Bodies explores the life and loves of Bea, a young Spanish woman. At the beginning of the novel, Bea is 22 years old and returning to her native Madrid after spending 4 years studying in Edinburgh. She leaves behind her loving but needy girlfriend, Cat, and her distant and occasional lover, Ralph. For Bea, returning to Madrid means to get together with her best friend Monica, who she is in love with and who has been involved in some tragic events. This is her chance to find out what happened to Monica and to decide whether to end her relationship with Cat. Monica is highly promiscuous and is sleeping with Coco to guarantee her supply of drugs. Coco and Monica draw Bea into their world, and Bea goes along with all their plans. Soon, things beginning to take a violent turn.
A powerful, absorbing novel about relationships, particularly between women. The title is a reference to the planetary theme that runs through the novel. People are compared to planets, suns, stars, satellites and moons; they are attracted or repulsed by gravitational forces beyond their control: “We women are all worlds, planets that orbit around a basic energy source: affection, or the lack of it”…
- Beatriz and the Heavenly Bodies is featured in our Spanish Reading Group Autumn 2012.
- Catherine Mansfield’s sample translation [download id=”61″] is available to download for free. Let us know what you think by commenting below.