What is the Argentine novel that The New Yorker included among the best books?

“Every week, our editors and reviewers recommend the most captivating, notable, brilliant, thought-provoking and talked-about books. Now, as 2023 comes to a close, we have chosen a dozen essential nonfiction reads and also a dozen fiction and poetry,” said the editors of The New Yorker by announcing the list of the best books of 2023.

The prestigious American magazine, specialized in reviews, essays, investigative reports and fiction, published its exclusive list of “The chosen books of the year.” In the New York cultural weekly, an Argentine novel created in 1958 and recently republished this year stood out on the list. The privileged position went to “January”, the first novel by the Argentine writer Sara Gallardo.

“The text focuses on a sixteen-year-old girl who becomes pregnant after an attack by an older man. In the story, set in the stifling heat of the Argentine Pampa, Gallardo recreates the world of ranchers from the perspective of the girl, with her adolescent confusion and her intimate feeling of guilt,” described the review of the stamp’s reissue. Archipelagowhich was translated from Spanish to English by Frances Riddle and Maureen Shaughnessy.

Sara Gallardo was a central writer in Argentine literature, especially in the 1960s, and in recent years her figure was rescued through reissues and theatrical adaptations. The national novel award, established in 2016 by the Ministry of Culture of the Nationis named after the author.

Coming from a patrician family, granddaughter of Minister Ángel Gallardo and great-great-granddaughter of Bartolome Miter, Gallardo’s career began as a collaborator in the newspaper La Nación. In 1955, she married writer and screenwriter Luis Pico Estrada and wrote her first novel, “January,” which was published three years later. She had three children: Delfina, who died very young, Paula and Agustín.

Sara Gallardo

Thanks to her first book, Gallardo was invited to different countries in the region, among them, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Cuba. In the seventies, separated from Luis Pico Estrada, married the writer Hector Murena. After the death of her husband in 1975, the writer lived in Barcelona, ​​Switzerland and Rome. During all that time, she never stopped working at La Nación and was able to produce her latest fiction novel, “The rose in the wind”, in 1979.

About the writer’s first novel, the storyteller Maria Elena Walsh He expressed: “It is a love novel, not pink, but earthy. The real protagonist is teenage love, failed and absurd. The desperation of a creature, the double helplessness of her as a woman and as a dispossessed person, are narrated with such depth that this novel has a destiny to move and enthrall.” Although Gallardo died of an asthma attack in 1988, in recent years, her first work gained notable relevance for bringing to the fore the issue of clandestine abortion in adolescence.

Sara Gallardo

“Gallardo juxtaposes her lonely desperation (the protagonist visits a local healer to have an abortion and gallops recklessly on horseback to cause a miscarriage) with the conservative Catholic society that closes ranks against her,” noted the cultural publication, referring to her first work. Over the years, Gallardo continued a notable career with different fictions such as “The Land of Smoke” and “Blue Pants”, in addition to his journalistic writings.

“Wherever each reader wants. Sara’s literature can be read separately or as a system. Each text takes us to a different universe and the reader could put together the pieces of a puzzle. I think that has to do with the routes that each reader chooses. What I do recommend is that she read it in its entirety and this includes her journalistic writings,” she highlighted in an interview. Lucia De Leoneauthor of “Living on the road”, the latest compilation of Sara Gallardo’s journalistic chronicles.

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