…Mr. Fuentes was one of the most admired writers in the Spanish-speaking world, a catalyst, along with Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortázar, of the explosion of Latin American literature in the 1960s and ’70s, known as El Boom. He wrote plays, short stories, political nonfiction and novels, many of them chronicles of tangled love…
…Mr. Fuentes received wide recognition in the United States in 1985 with his novel “The Old Gringo,” a convoluted tale about the American writer Ambrose Bierce, who disappeared during the Mexican Revolution. It was the first book by a Mexican novelist to become a best seller north of the border, and it was made into a 1989 film starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda…
…But it was mainly through his literature, Mr. Fuentes believed, that he could make his voice heard, and he did so prolifically and inventively, tracing the history of modern Mexico in layered stories that also explored universal themes of love, memory and death…
…“I think I became a writer because I heard those stories,” he said in 2006 in an interview with the Academy of Achievement, a nonprofit organization in Washington. His grandmothers fascinated him with their tales of bandits, revolution and reckless love. “They had the whole storehouse of the past in their heads and hearts,” Mr. Fuentes said. “So this was, for me, very fascinating, this relationship with my two grannies — the two authors of my books, really…”
Curator Jamie Andrews, head of English and Drama at the British Library, selected thematic snapshots of different types of places for the exhibition, which he describes as “choose your own adventure” in style.
The hope is that visitors will navigate their own way through and find their own connections in sections which range from “wild places” and “rural dreams” to “dark satanic mills” via “Cockney visions,” “beyond the city” and “waterlands.”
Jane Austen’s admirer Virginia Woolf said that “of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness”. It is a brilliant insight. The apparent modesty of Austen’s dramas is only apparent; the minuteness of design is a bravura achievement. But it cannot be shown by some grand scene or speech. Accuracy is her genius. Noticing minutiae will lead you to the wonderful interconnectedness of her novels, where a small detail of wording or motivation in one place will flare with the recollection of something that happened much earlier. This is one of the reasons they bear such rereading. Every quirk you notice leads you to a design. If you ask very specific questions about what goes on in her novels, you reveal their cleverness. The closer you look, the more you see. Try these 10 questions.
Viking has acquired a new biography of Jane Eyre author, Charlotte Bronte, to be published in 2016 to coincide with the bicentenary of Bronte’s birth.
Publishing director Venetia Butterfield bought UK and Commonwealth rights to the new work by Claire Harman through Hannah Westland of Rogers, Coleridge and White.
According to the publisher, the biography will draw on little-known material and examine in greater depth the relationship between Bronte and Monsieur Heger, her schoolmaster in Belgium. Her unrequited love for him sparked her early work as well as her determination to get her own and her sisters’ work published.
Bronte’s most well-known novel is Jane Eyre, with works also including Shirley, Villette and The Professor. She was born in April 1816, and died in March 1855, living the majority of her life with her family, including sisters Anne and Emily, in the parsonage at Haworth, Yorkshire. A year before her death, she married Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father’s curate. The first posthumous biography of her was written by Victorian novelist, Elizabeth Gaskell.
Harman is a winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for her biography of Sylvia Townsend Warner.