Young Romanian novelists in Spain

young romanian novelists in spain Award-winning author Tatiana Tibuleac

The Spanish version of "The summer when my mother's eyes were green", a novel by Tatiana Tibuleac, brought out by the Impedimenta Publishers in 2019, scooped the Casino de Santiago European Novel Award. Spanish academic and writer Marian Ochoa de Eribe is the translator of the novel. Works by Eric Vuillard, Paolo Giordano and Pedro Feijo have also been included on the Award's shortlist. Previously, recipients of the Casino de Santiago European Novel Award were Jonathan Coe, Kazuo Ishiguro, John Lanchester and Emmanuel Carrère. "The summer when my mother's eyes were green" is the debut novel of Tatiana Țîbuleac, a former journalist in Chisinau and a current Paris resident. The Spanish version of the novel also scooped the Cálamo Award in 2019, a prize offered by the Cálamo bookshop in Zaragoza. Tatiana Tibuleac's debut novel, its Romanian version, was launched in 2016. The novel focuses on the emotional relationship a mother has with her son. In 2019, Tatiana Tibuleac's novel, The Glass garden, brought out by the Cartier Publishers in Chisinau in 2018, won the European Union's Award for Literature.

We sat down and spoke to the translator of « The summer when my mother's eyes were green », Marian Ochoa de Eribe. Here she is, giving us details on the history behind the translation, on how the novel was received in the Hispanic space.

Marian Ochoa de Eribe:

« The story of the translation is absolutely wonderful. At the 2018 edition of the Madrid Bookfair, Romania was the guest country and I chaired the awarding ceremony, with Mircea Cartarescu attending. The ceremony was very beautiful. While the fair was still on, I ran into a newspaper that published an extensive article about present-day Romanian literature and I saw a couple of photos there. Save for two writers, I was familiar with all the authors that were presented in that publication. Tatiana Tibuleac was one of the authors that were presented in the article, I remember myself taking a picture of the article and sending it to a friend of mine at the University in Constanta, Dr Eta Hrubaru.  I asked her if she knew anything at all about Tatiana Tibuleac, she replied she was in possession of Tatiana Tibuleac's novel, «The Summer when My Mother's Eyes were Green». So in early July, when I arrived in Constanta, the first thing I did was to read the novel, and the reading was extremely rewarding. I spoke about that on a number of occasions during the meetings I had with the press and with readers in Spain, telling them I finished reading the novel on the beach in Mamaia, and that as soon as I got home I started my PC, searching for a contact of Tatiana Tibuleac. I wrote a message and I let her know I was still under the spell of the book and I would like to translate it, I called Enrique Redel, the founder of the Impedimenta publishers. I told him I discovered a woman writer and I was going to translate The Summer when my mother's eyes were green whether he was going to publish it or not. Enrique trusted me, and the outcome of  that is this wonderful blazing trail of the book and this wonderful trail Tatiana Tibuleac had in the Hispanic world. "

Marian Ochoa de Eribe discovered Romanian literature in the 1990s when she was teaching comparative literature with Ovidius University in Constanta. The first Romanian books she translated into Spanish were Panait Istrati's Kyra Kyralina and Moș Anghel,/Old man Anghel, as well as Mircea Eliade's The Short-sighted Adolescent's Novel. Since 2009, Marian Ochoa de Eribe has been translating the works of Mircea Cărtărescu, at the suggestion of Enrique Redel. The Impedimenta Publishers between 2010 and 2013 brought out Marian Ochoa de Eribe's versions of Mircea Cartarescu's The Roulette Player, Travesty, Nostalgia and Beautiful Strangers. The Spanish version of Cartarescu's novel, Solenoid, was published in 2017 and with that, Mircea Cartarescu compelled recognition in the Spanish cultural space, winning the prestigious Premio Formentor de las Letras in 2018. The Romanian was the recipient of one of the world's most prestigious lifetime achievement literary awards, meant to give an impetus to the thoroughgoing transformation of human consciousness. »

Marian Ochoa de Eribe is briefing us up on the works of Mircea Cărtărescu and Tatiana Țîbuleac, whose versions in Spanish she has recently completed.

Marian Ochoa de Eribe:

«Actually, I have never ceased to translate from Mircea Cartarescu, well...on and off, as of late I have been working on the Poetry Anthology which is due in autumn this year. To be honest with you, after I translated The Body, which is the second part of the Blinding trilogy, a very difficult book, what I needed was a little window, a little break, so that I could feel for some different stuff in the other drawers of my mind. But I won't fail to say that Tatiana Tibuleac's novel, The Glass Garden, was a difficult book, an extremely complex one, language-wise. Now, coming back to your question, it seems I cannot possibly take Mircea Cartarescu off my mind, it's as if I had perpetually lived in his world and in his obsessions.»

The Impedimenta publishers has recently announced Marian Ochoa de Eribe's Spanish version of Tatiana Tibuleac's second novel, The Glass Garden, is available in bookshops. Marian Ochoa de Eribe's Spanish version of another Romanian novel is due out from Acantilado publishers in 2021, Gabriela Adamesteanu's novel, "Temporariness."
Publicat: 2021-02-20 14:00:00
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