Los abismos (Premio Alfaguara 2021)

Los abismos (Premio Alfaguara 2021)

Pilar Quintana

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248 páginas | Tapa blanda

Una niña contempla con una agudeza y una sensibilidad extraordinaria el conflictivo matrimonio de sus padres. Entre la actitud desdeñosa y las confidencias imprudentes de ella y la amargura y el silencio obstinado de él, intenta construir la realidad que la rodea, conjeturando, adivinando, interpretando lo que no se dice, o lo que se dice a medias.

La vida de Claudia transcurre con normalidad en Cali, una infancia sin preocupaciones, como tantas otras, porque todas las familias felices se parecen. Pero como cada una es infeliz a su manera, de repente irrumpe en la ecuación alguien ajeno a ella que acaba con la armonía. Y entonces ocurre: la vida se convierte en otra cosa cuando se quiebra la línea recta del camino, desbaratada en favor de esos monstruos sin nombre, martilleos constantes hacia la agonía de sufrir cada minuto y acariciar los abismos, fríos, crueles, invisibles y despiadados.

Con el telón de fondo del estrecho universo femenino formado por mujeres acomodadas a su vida, que no pueden romper con una educación de otro tiempo, Pilar Quintana ha construido una novela intimista, con una voz narradora deslumbrante en su ingenuidad que, desde la memoria del hogar, conduce al lector por las obsesiones que pueblan la niñez de la que la protagonista se está despidiendo.

«Quintana hace maravillas con su prosa desilusionada, sobria, poderosa.» - Juan Gabriel Vásquez

ENGLISH DESCRIPTION

The jury highlighted that Los abismos / The Abysses “delves into the darkness of an adult world but through the eyes of a young girl who, from the memories of her family life, tries to understand the conflictive relationship between her parents. Against the backdrop of a feminine world, one in which women are tied to a never-ending wheel from which they cannot escape, the author has created a powerful story told from an evident ingenuousness and innocence that contrasts with the hopeless and doomed atmosphere that surrounds the protagonist. With a subtle and brilliant prose in which nature connects us with the symbolic possibilities of literature, and the abysses are both real and intimate.”

With extraordinary perception and sensitivity, a young girl reflects on her parents troubled marriage and tries to construct her reality by predicting, guessing, or interpreting what is not said, and what is half said.

Claudia has what she considers a normal in Cali, a carefree childhood like so many others, because all happy families are alike. But since each family is unhappy in their own way, there comes a time when, suddenly, someone from the outside enters the equation, destroying all perceived harmony. And then it happens: life as they knew it becomes something else when the straight line that was supposed to have been followed, is broken.

With a background of the small female universe comprised of well-to-do women for whom it is impossible to break from the customs and mold of a previous time, Pilar Quintana has constructed an intimate novel, with a narrative voice dazzling in its naivety.

The author’s most recent novel previous to this work, La perra / The Bitch, received the prestigious Colombian Biblioteca de Narrativa Award in 2018, was shortlisted for the National Book Award in Translated Literature 2020, and is being translated in fourteen countries. In addition, the audiovisual rights have been sold for film and video.

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