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Boulder: Shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize

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Vigdis Hjorth’s Norwegian novel about a mother and child Is Mother Dead is translated by Charlotte Barslund. Susie Mesure in the Guardian said the novel was: “an absorbing study of inner turmoil that is unexpectedly gripping”. Eva Baltasar guanya el premi Gabriel Ferrater de poesia". ara.cat. March 9, 2016 . Retrieved February 3, 2019.

Eva Baltasar: Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize Eva Baltasar: Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize

Permafrost is a discomfiting book about a sensual intoxication with life that just barely contains the desire for it to be over and done with forever. Like a perfect song, Eva Baltasar’s words, as translated by Julia Sanches, have a sheen and inevitability that I won’t soon forget. It held me in a trance.’ Maryse Meijer To explore all the books on the longlist for the International Booker prize 2023 visit guardianbookshop.com. Delivery charges may apply.Calling to mind the work of Herve Guibert and Olivia Laing, Permafrost is an iron fist swathed in velvet, a book at once inviting and intimidating, lush and severe, enormously witty, thoroughly intelligent, and devastatingly emotional. It is a text that trusts the wisdom of the body, finding pleasure everywhere—even in suicide, death, and disaster; this is the most weirdly uplifting book I have read in years, perhaps because it holds at its core such affection for all the nuances of being. Seamless, delicious, and nothing short of genius, Baltasar’s fiction debut gives us “the whole crush of humanity[…] concentrated in a place that is absolutely personal.”’ Rebecca Tamás Both books are published by the wonderful small press And Other Stories, who pioneered the subscription model in the UK: I feel like an elderly mafioso, like Samsa belongs to me not out of the love we have for one another but out of a new, shared responsibility, because I am in a position to accommodate an improbable, difficult whim.’ Through such intricate writing, in Julia Sanches’s voraciously readable translation, the author deftly manages to elevate the idea of a relationship to a force of nature, with the character of Boulder representing the struggle to reconcile a desire to be alone with a desire for company.’ Unremittingly lucid yet delightfully deranged, Eva Baltasar's impeccable narrative voice will take you on a fast ride where, as the plot twists and her sharp remarks recede from your peripheral vision, you remain keenly aware of, and reassured by, the warmth radiating from the palm of the hand she places on your knee.’ Emma Ramadan

International Booker prize reveals ‘very cool and very sexy

Después de la exitosa Permafrost, Boulderes la continuación del tríptico donde Eva Baltasar explora la voz, la vida y el cuerpo de tres mujeres. The announcement of the shortlist follows research by Nielsen for the Booker Prize Foundation that shows the biggest group of translated fiction readers in the UK is made up of 25 to 34-year-olds, compared with 60 to 84-year-olds for fiction as a whole. Una mujer independiente, que gusta de la soledad, se encuentra bien en su mundo interior que ha hecho a su medida. Trabaja en un buque mercante como cocinera, no necesita más; baja del barco en algún puerto en busca de una compañía que la haga sentir viva, sin ataduras, sin compromisos. Recibe también lo suyo la reproducción asistida, por lo artificial, deshumanizador incluso, del proceso. Se añade la variable de las parejas del mismo sexo, en las que el imperativo de ser madre puede no estar tan condicionado por los códigos de la familia tradicional; aún así, ciertas actitudes se acercan peligrosamente a una masculinidad de toda la vida (la amistad masculina como apoyo ante la crisis conyugal, el rechazo de la comunicación directa), no exenta de gestos nobles (al final todo sea hace, pese a las reticencias, por un amor puro, desinteresado), aflorando incluso sentimientos insospechados bajo una superficie pétrea. Las dos mujeres que se nos describen representan, creo yo, polaridades demasiado extremas. El punto de vista contiene un fuerte sesgo, pero la novela es más dura, concentrada, que su predecesora; un desgranar minucioso de un mundo interior, pese a lo que pueda parecer, muy sensible, a partir de elaboradas comparaciones, de imágenes muy visuales, rotundas, al borde del rebuscamiento expresivo, en un intento de comunicar, poner palabras a la manera en que una siente y ve las cosas (aunque podemos cuestionar la credibilidad de semejante registro viniendo de quien viene, de alguien tan proclive a lo sencillo, tan poco dado a los alardes retóricos). El desenlace, un retorno al punto de partida, cargado de resignación, viene marcado por una escena sumamente bizarra, al límite de lo creíble, aunque profundamente simbólica.

Boulder est la deuxième publication d'un triptyque sur 3 femmes différentes qui doivent affronter les contradictions de leur temps. Boulder a été précédé par Permafrost en 2018 et sera suivi cette année par Mamut. The book is a modern love story – global, queer, existential in its moral hierarchies – but it is also a rumination on those two most ancient of words: lover and mother … A novel that lionizes the desire to be alone even as it recognizes the beauty and grace found within a family.’

BOULDER | EVA BALTASAR | Casa del Libro BOULDER | EVA BALTASAR | Casa del Libro

God, I love Eva Baltasar’s writing. Boulder is another masterpiece from one of Europe’s most radical queer writers. I continue to be a Julia Sanches stan.’ Gary Perry, Foyles CXR Catalan author and poet, Eva Baltasar follows her debut novel Permafrost with the second in a planned triptych, each tightly focused on an individual woman’s experiences. Themes around solitude and the overwhelming pull of physical desire are once again central. Everything’s told in the first person from an unnamed woman's perspective, she's exchanged her past in Spain for a remote Patagonian Island. Her existence is deliberately nomadic; rootlessness and a love of freedom are her defining features. She’s all about the journey, never the destination. She takes lovers but they're "as fleeting as shooting stars.” Eventually she lands the perfect job, cooking on a freighter, hopping from one isolated port to another. But then she meets Samsa, a Scandinavian geologist working ashore, and she’s instantly infatuated. Amid sexual trysts and growing tensions, Boulder searches for the mysterious sweet spot between her wants: freedom and connection. Baltasar has an innate talent for stretching the complexities of queer lives and predicaments into undulating adventure and tension.’ Life develops without overwhelming me, it squeezes into every minute, it implodes; I hold it in my hands. I can give anything up, because nothing is essential when you refuse to imprison life in a narrative. Boulder segueix tot el procés de la maternitat amb una barreja d'horror i fascinació, sentint que és una amenaça a la seva posició. El llenguatge amb que ho descriu és dur, físic, sense concessions, gairebé com si no parlés de persones:

Permafrost

Still, at novella’s end, I felt a pang. And today, I find myself missing the anticipation of charge, of aggression, of violence and beauty. This author has published ten volumes of poetry, so that’s where I’ll head next. A poem a day feels like it’ll be plenty. Il fallait son écriture au plus près des sensations, pour dire ce beau personnage de femme verrouillée dans une carapace de silence, inadaptée au monde, déstabilisée par une histoire de couple imprévue qui la dépasse, et pour toujours hantée par l’appel du large.» Sylvie Tannett — “Boulder” d’Eva Baltasar : quand une femme ne veut pas d’enfant avec sa compagne Cómo he disfrutado de este libro! Tenía las expectativas altas ya que “Permafrost”, el primero de los libros de este tríptico de Baltasar, me había gustado mucho. “Boulder” me ha gustado incluso más, pero de una forma muy diferente. En este libro encontramos una narración madura y pensada. Hay párrafos que he querido leer hasta en tres ocasiones. Párrafos sublimes. Me siento muy afortunada cuando tengo la suerte de leer libros tan bien escritos, tan cargados de magia. El domino de Baltasar en la escritura me resulta brillante. Opposed to all family ties, and jealous of her partner’s child, our narrator refuses to resign herself to her new role of secondary character in her own story, and lashes out by drinking and engaging in clandestine sex with other women, much as would a character in a Charles Bukowski story (an author with whom Baltasar shares more than one stylistic affinity). With Boulder, Eva Baltasar goes beyond Permafrost, to the point that, as with Gillian Flynn's antiheroines, or the anti-superheroine Jessica Jones, the new femininity evokes the old masculinity.’ The emptiness of solitude fills her life as if her existence takes dive in the hell of nothingness, she looks for solace in the company of other casual hook-ups, but nothing brings consolation to her soul. However, their daughter-Tinna stimulates a new sense of intimacy in her Boulder, intimacy which is strange and afresh, as if the flower may bloom again on the anew feeling of love and affection. Boulder finds herself amidst the soup of her fire of independence and the newly felt feeling of endearment, she has to churn the froth with her soul to decide the fate of her life.

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