Sergio Olguín was born in Buenos Aires in 1967 and grew up in the Lanús neighbourhood where many of his novels are set. The first of these he penned aged nine. Entitled Lobo, Mi buen amigo (My good friend Wolf), it was a book about and dedicated to his pet dog. Lobo was, in reality, a nasty hound who went about biting people but in the story he became a charming pooch who chomped on sweets. The young Olguín had learned the joy of poetic license and there was no looking back.
He got his professional writing break with a journalism job on Familia Cristiana, the publication of the Congregation of the Daughters of St Paul, edited by nuns. He lasted five years before deciding to go it alone, founding V de Vian, a cultural magazine which always featured a photo of a naked lady on the cover and threw insults at the establishment inside. Set up as a bit of a lark, it lasted ten years.
These days he is editor of Argentine daily Crítica and dedicates the rest of his time to writing novels. He has published two youth fiction novels, El Equipo de los Sueños (The Dream Team) and Vivir en Springfield (Life in Springfield) while Lanús (Lanús – 2002), Filo (Knife Edge – 2003) and Oscura Monótona Sangre (Dark Monotonous Blood – 2010) are written for an adult audience.
Featured Reading Group Title
Oscura Monótona Sangre (Dark Monotonous Blood)
Tusquets Editores, 2010, 192 pages.
Andrade is a happily married, self-made family man, or so it would seem. His life takes a dramatic change of direction when he overhears lorry drivers discussing underage prostitutes from the shantytown. Andrade picks one up and soon becomes consumed by love, lust and rebellion. Channeling all the energy that made him such a successful businessman into pursuing his illicit affair, the risk-taking gets ever greater. Written like a thriller in a pared-back style, the book tells of a man spinning out of control but also examines middle class attitudes towards the shantytowns. The book was the winner of the 2009 Tusquets Prize.
English Extract, translated by Jethro Soutar [download id=”33″ format=”3″]
Oscura Monótona Sangre is featured in the And Other Stories Spanish-language Reading Group for Summer 2010.