Marcos Giralt Torrente
Marcos Giralt Torrente was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1968. After studying philosophy, today he works as a literary critic for the daily newspaper El País. He began writing by composing short stories. In 1999 he published his first novel "París" (In deinen Augen, 2001), which received the Premio Herralde, one of the most important literary awards in Spain. The text is the first of a trilogy about the big European capitals. The second part will be devoted to Rome, the third most probably to the myth of Berlin.

The first volume centres on a narrator who asks continual questions, although usually directing them at himself. In a web of repetitions, variations and linguistic excavations, the narrator attempts to trace his childhood in the Madrid of the seventies, the conflict between his parents, and their constant arguments that made his life into a hell. The father – a failed academic who turned into a petty criminal – leaves the family; only after many failed attempts is the wife able to free herself from his influence. In turn, mother and son suffer from the complete failure of their relationship, but they are also bound to one another by a secret that is not revealed until the last pages of the novel. Above all, however, this labyrinthine book of memories tells of a desire for absolute love – a desire whose fulfilment may be a Utopia, but is nonetheless the motor behind Marcos Giralt Torrente's writing: "If our great dreams are life and love, we must have the courage to go on dreaming."

"At that time, I enjoyed reading stories much more than novels", says Marcos Giralt Torrente of the period when he was working on his first book "Entiéndame" (1996), a selection of short stories which are all – in some, usually strangely twisted way – about love, seduction, jealousy and not least, about the lust involved in writing.

For Giralt Torrente, it is incomprehensible that the story is less valued than the novel in Spain – although Spanish literary history has so many great storytellers. In his opinion, this genre in particular makes it possible to learn literary discipline and the art of abbreviation. Ideally, the story enables us to interpret the complexity of the world through sudden enlightenment, while the novel is compelled to reflect this complexity.