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Sandra Bruna Literary Agency


Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 15 March 2018

This week, social media has become an ocean filled with fishes swimming. Little fishes looking for Gabriel, the missing boy from Almería. These last few days we’ve been keeping an eye on this story, which, unfortunately has not had the end all of us were wishing for. My heart breaks whenever I think how it must feel to lose a child, I cannot picture it in my mind. There is nothing worse that could possibly happen, and I really do admire his parents, that in this extreme situation have asked for peace, not hate. Kids are life, there is nothing bad in their essence, hence why they should never suffer, they do not deserve it. No one should ever suffer, neither the adults nor the kids. We should be able to live fearlessly, happily, joyfully in a better world. A world we are fully responsible of, and we should teach the new generations to create it always humbly, honestly and far away from violence.

This is why, when reading Empar Fernández’s IRINA, I was able to also feel that “pain”. A pain some kids were exposed from 1937 to 1939 when they had to escape the Spanish Civil War. Many of which were fostered in cold Russia. They had to begin over new, adapt to a new world which was about to change, again, because of the explosion of World War II. They would have to suffer again. They would be exposed, once more, to pain, to suffering, to being alone. They had to overcome whatever they were exposed to, they had no other choice. Irina’s story traps you, hits you, breaks you, you just cannot ignore it. It is a piece of history from an eight years old girl’s perspective, through her eyes. She is aware she has to go on with her life, on her own, besides living in a cruel and unfair world. A world which also grants her a home, a place to stay, although it is not how she would like it to be. Irina is one of those characters which stays in the reader’s mind forever, as Gabriel’s smile, which we will never forget. I wish we could live in an ocean filled of nice little fishes swimming to find happiness, to reach peace. A clear sea in which hate did not exist and union, friendship and the will to build a better world, ruled. As in Irina’s times although some kids were never able to reach the deserved peaceful destiny. IRINA is such an amazing novel. Empar, as always, has been able to smartly build a story. A vibrating story. A story that dives into the deep end.


Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 10 November 2016

This week the United States elections have been held, and I am sorry to say that, to me, it is disappointing that Donald Trump has been the winner. I do not understand that after a president like Barack Obama, who, like everyone, might have done some things wrong but who, generally, I believe has been a good president, now has Trump as replacement. I don’t live in the United States and maybe there are some things that I cannot assess, but from the outside, the candidate Hillary Clinton seemed more like someone who could follow Barack Obama’s steps, which have been firm and respectable. I am sure there will be a strong reason that people from abroad cannot see and I hope that none will have to regret this result. I wouldn’t like to think either that Hillary Clinton has been penalized for being a woman, as some have said. In the wake of this elections, the book that comes to my mind to recommend is the Premio Valencia Alfons el Magnànim de Narrativa 2016 winner José Vicente Pascual, who won the prize with a very special book, ISLA DE LOBOS (Island of Wolves), in which a woman governs an island and nothing happens. It is a novel hard to classify, but with the help of Victor del Árbol’s quote, an author whom I am passionate about and to whom I must thank for having given us this sentence, I believe that we all can get an idea of what José Vicente Pascual can offer to us with this awarded novel:

«With the imagination of García Márquez and the prose of Carpentier, José Vicente Pascual demonstrates that there are still shores to discover within literature». Víctor del Árbol, Premio Nadal 2016


ISLA DE LOBOS (Island of Wolves) is compound of various characters: a geographer, a santero, a counter of waves and a woman who governs with an iron hand the destinations of the island. Apart from the mulatto Esmeralda and her daughter Albabella, who speaks with sea wolves and lives in a cave. Moreover, there is a volcano that guards the plans of those who dwell the mirage of time, the tiny bits of remaining lands and ripraps in the middle of the ocean, no more than a mustard seed that has fallen over the enormous tablecloth that is the sea. In this cloistered universe, over which there is an inescapable curse, the arrival of a naked man without a name, found lying on the sand of the beach and brought there by the swell, will become a thread that will be invoked by making him perform an almost impossible task. While he tries to accomplish the given ask, major forces than the ones of a mortal being, work silently in order to change the destiny of the Island of the Wolves. An edge that doesn’t appear on the maps and that is almost not even in the world.

In weeks like this, I would like to get lost somewhere that is not represented on a map, out of this world that I often don’t like how evolves. But I think that if we all did a tiny effort to try improving the small things, we would take great steps to acquire a happier world, less violent, where people wouldn’t be tense and where none would be a thread, even when it could seem so. I would like to congratulate José Vicente Pascual for this prize and I encourage you all to read this magical and adventurous novel that Ediciones Versátil has recently published. And, with the good work they always do with press, I am certain that many of you have already seen it on the newspapers, or heard of on the radio. A novel that is not easy to explain but it is easy to read.

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