Name
Guillermo Fadanelli
Country
Mexico
Guillermo Fadanelli, who was born in Mexico City in 1963, works as a prose author, publisher and director of video films. He studied engineering before establishing himself as a writer in 1988. In 1989, Fadanelli founded the literary magazine Moho, followed by the publishing company of the same name in 1995. Guillermo Fadanelli's first novel "Cuentos Mejicanos" (Mexican Stories) appeared in 1991 and was followed by a number of other books (seven novels and three volumes of stories to date), which have made him into a cult author among the younger generation in Latin America. He has also become known to a European audience through his contributions to Spanish magazines and his translations into French. In order to earn money for his literary projects, he worked for periods as an estate agent, mule-driver, Christmas tree salesman in New York, and as an employee at a confectioners in Madrid. His novel "Das andere Gesicht Rock Hudsons" (Rock Hudson's Other Face) will be appearing at Matthes & Seitz Berlin in 2006.

The world of Guillermo Fadanelli's books is the grey prairie of the big city; the filthy asphalt of Mexico City's problem districts, a world full of potholes and caustic smells – lined by buildings painted in garish colours and "tattooed with religious images" but soon as grey as ever –, of gambling salons, dancing joints, sleazy bars and cafés, and of the local matadors who live there; the drug dealers, stabbers, addicted whores, stray dogs and young people left to fend for themselves – sketched in powerful dark lines, like a charcoal drawing or the pictures of a rough, simple comic in black and white, written at a rapid narrative tempo and in a language that sometimes reminds the critics of William S. Burroughs.

And this cosmos is the precise setting for the exciting, black novel "Rock Hudson's Other Face", which focuses on Johnny Ramírez – an ice-cold drug dealer, robber and contract killer, the uncrowned king over a stinking, decaying district of Mexico City. His headquarters are in Hotel Orizaba, where he lives in a lousy room together with his sister Rebecca, who is a heroin addict on the game, and from here he observes the entire street and sets out on his expeditions. He is a silent hyena, always on his guard and preferring to ground his prey at night: his sister's punters who he relieves of money, drug carriers that he has a bone to pick with, or perfectly normal neighbours that he is contracted to kill. Pock-marked Johnny Ramírez with his unmoving gaze has no limits – for he knows that everything that is regarded as illegal in some part of the world is encouraged somewhere else. So he kills with an easy conscience, believing that he has been granted the right to do so from above. And anyway, no one believes in paradise anymore, here on the threshold to Hell. He instils fear and infinite admiration into the young people of the district – above all into the first-person narrator, who is fifteen when he sees Ramírez for the first time. Wavering between the instinct for flight and fascination, he becomes more and more captivated by Johnny Ramírez, until he begins to work for him as a drug dealer, leaving his parents' house and moving into a cheap doss-house with his sister Elena. And finally he takes over the baton - repeating the same, eternal story – and develops into the next Johnny Ramírez.

In Guillermo Fadanelli's work, Mexico City is a Moloch of hopelessness, full of violence and crime; a filthy, stinking labyrinth from which there is no escape, for its people are trapped in an endless loop and their stories are repeated like a merry-go-round on the brink of catastrophe, day by day – stories that Guillermo Fadanelli captures in a wonderful, vivid language, expressing his merciless perspective on these bizarre blossoms growing on the refuse heaps of human existence.