Bahía Blanca, Argentina, 1962

Guillermo Martínez moved to Buenos Aires in 1985, where he gained a PhD in Mathematical Logic. His first published book of short stories, Infierno grande, was awarded the Premio del Fondo Nacional de las Artes, and in less than a decade he had become one of the most important writers of his generation. His first novel, Acerca de Roderer, was widely acclaimed by critics and translated into various languages. In 2003 he won the Premio Planeta Argentina for his novel Crímenes imperceptibles, which was a huge international success and was made into a film directed by Álex de la Iglesia under the title Los crímenes de Oxford (2008). The author of several essays, he regularly writes articles for the newspaper La Nación, and other media. One of his first stories has recently been published in The New Yorker.

  • "...of the many hells that I have visited, Guillermo Martínez’s Infierno grande is one of my favourites. Each of the stories that make up this volume reveal an excellent narrator, with a captivating and surprising voice." Juan Marsé
  • "A Bahia-born mathematician, a fan of tennis and of Henry James, he was never interested in the excesses and antics that we, his peers, assiduously engaged in." Juan Forn
  • "Guillermo Martínez is a master of suspense." Matías Néspolo, El Mundo.

Bibliography

Oxford, 1994. In the Lewis Carroll Brotherhood, a series of crimes whose nature seems to be linked to the literary universe of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland have been triggered. To unravel what this mystery, the celebrated Logic Professor Arthur Seldom, also a member of the Lewis Carroll Brotherhood, and a young Mathematics student join forces in an investigation that combines intrigue with the bookish world.

From the author of The Oxford Murders.

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Novel

Nadal Prize 2019

Who and why is using Lewis Carroll references to commit murders?

A young Oxford research fellow working with the Lewis Carroll Society finds an unpublished page in the diaries of the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, mysteriously torn out and lost since 1863. However, as she prepares to publish her extraordinary discovery, which offers a new perspective on a delicate, controversial chapter in Carroll’s life, the girl is savagely run down by a car that flees the scene.

Just as they did in The Oxford Murders, the partnership formed by Arthur Seldom, distinguished professor of Logic, and a young Mathematics student from Argentina will try to solve a series of macabre murders inspired by the fantasy book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In this case, the honourable, eccentric members of the Lewis Carroll Society are the victims as well as the prime suspects.

A fascinating book that takes the detective novel into the literary realm, in the tradition of Borges and Umberto Eco.

With a smooth and precise prose, Guillermo Martínez, author of The Oxford Murders, has written a fascinating novel that in the tradition of Borges and Umberto Eco brings this detective story to the literary field.

Book Trailer Los crímenes de Alicia.

"With Los crímenes de Alicia, Guillermo Martínez reinvents the detective novel, endowing it with an intellectual depth and a formidable literary greatness. A fascinating story that is destined to become a classic." Rosa Montero 

"Guillermo Martínez has written a fantastic mystery novel." J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip, Babelia, El País

August 2001. Argentinian teacher arrives at the university in the southern US state to form a class in Hispanic literature. Everything seems perfect, but during the first hour he meets an irresistible temptation: one of the students –Jennifer– dazzling and confusing. They start secret and risky sexual relationship but an unexpected event rolls over brutally their happy life. Intensely sensual, ironic and dramatic novel that traces in details the "bemused penetration of bodies" which transforms into a world of revelations, exposing bold theme of sexuality in all its complexity.

Guillermo Martinez offers a sophisticated novel, a language rich in nuances, tense and gripping, with unexpected twists and denouement.

Art imitates life. Or does it? One sleepy Sunday morning in Buenos Aires, the protagonist of Martinez's brilliant new mystery finds himself unexpectedly tangled up in the story of Luciana, a former authors' assistant whom he has not seen for at least ten years, and Kloster, a rival writer –only far more successful; bestselling, in fact. What he discovers will make him question everything he had always believed  –taken for granted– about chance and calculation, cause and effect.
Luciana is desperate. In the decade since she last had anything to do with either of the writers, nearly all her close family have died, in highly unusual circumstances. And Luciana or her sister could be next. Luciana's convinced that her one-time employer Kloster is behind the deaths, punishing her for her part in the break-up of his marriage in a murderous frenzy of revenge worthy of one of his own prodigiously successful crime novels. But which comes first, murder or novel?

Clever and gripping, The Book of Murder is a chilling crime story in which the line between fact and fiction suddenly seems blurred.

More than 400,000 copies sold worldwide!

 A compelling and sophisticated crime novel. Using rules and axioms, there will always be some propositions that can't be proved either true or false... But can this apply to murder?

On a balmy summer's day in Oxford an old lady who once helped decipher the Enigma Code is killed. After receiving a cryptic anonymous note containing only the address and the symbol of a circle, Arthur Seldom, a leading mathematician, arrives to find the body.

Then follow more murders - an elderly man on a life-support machine is found dead with needle marks in this throat; the percussionist of an orchestra at a concert at Blenheim Palace dies before the audience's very eyes - seemingly unconnected except for notes appearing in the maths department, for the attention of Seldom. Why is he being targeted as the recipient of these coded messages? All he can conjecture is that it might relate to his latest book, an unexpected bestseller about serial killers and the parallels between investigations into their crimes and certain mathematical theorems. 
It is left to Seldom and a postgraduate mathematics student to work out the key to the series of symbols before the killer strikes again.

“The Argentinian Guillermo Martínez has created one of the best and most appreciated thriller novels that have been published in these past few years.” El Mundo, Spain

“Like Borges, his writing examines the consequences of abstract theories in the physical world. With a flick of the magician's wrist, he questions your ability to explain what is unfolding before your eyes. The shape of the novel is governed as much by the irrationality of people as it is by logical detective work. While creating an atmosphere of suspense, Martínez avoids any formulaic thrills and engages the reader in an enthralling conflict between the heart and the mind." ObserverPaperback of the Week

"A scholarly whodunit... anyone who loves a good mystery can share the quest." The New York Times Book Review 

"The mix of mathematics and murder mystery makes for a powerful cocktail. The Oxford Murders is not the first thriller to combine the two, but it is one to do it successfully." Marcus du Satoy, The Guardian

"Guillermo Martínez is endowed with a keen eye for the material world and his own emotions, a confidential tone of voice and a winning sense of wonder about the mathematical thinking central to this book. All these attributes work magic here." The Washington Post

Un joven escritor que acaba de publicar su primera novela, y otro, Jordan, al final del camino, que desconfía de los hombres y de las palabras y se recluye en la intimidad de su casa obsesionado por terminar la obra que podrá justificarlo. Entre esa casa y el mundo, entre Jordán y el aprendiz, Cecilia, la mujer del maestro. Una historia que avanza con la límpida tensión de las tragedias: dos hombres y una mujer a un paso del cielo y del abismo, movidos por el amor y la envidia, el deseo y la vanidad. El autor se aleja del vértigo posmoderno para buscar los restos de los antiguos mitos y devolverles su brillo oscuro y duradero del único modo posible: haciendo literatura.

The disruption of a young boy's tidy world by a newcomer in town.

"The new arrival, Gustavo Roderer, is the same age as the unnamed narrator and challenges his comfortable position as the smartest pupil in class. Possessed of an otherworldy intelligence, Roderer quarrels with the very assumptions that the narrator has unthinkingly, and so handily, memorized and conquered. The story follows the narrator as he leaves his home village for college and, briefly, for war; the narrator's sister, who falls adoringly in love with the curious new boy; and Roderer himself, who stays holed up in his room, mysteriously compelled to rework the traditional systems of Western philosophy." (Publishers Weekly)

Short stories and novellas

What would happen if we look beyond the visible? With this irresistible collection of stories the Argentine writer Guillermo Martinez, balancing on the edge between sanity and madness, between fatality and coincidence, between dreams and nightmares, introduces us to the spiritual abyss of his characters who face unusual, even extreme situations.

In 2014 the collection A Repulsive Happiness was awarded the newly established prize for best Spanish-language story after the name of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Lo incisivo de sus observaciones, cierto peculiar sentido de la comicidad y una impiedad solapada le confieren a Infierno Grande su tono intransferible, su originalidad. Pero el placer que provoca su lectura hay que rastrearlo sobre todo en una cosa: en la soltura con que estos diez cuentos están narrados. La derivación gradual de sus historias hacia la demencia, el absurdo, o un horror netamente contemporáneo, contrastan con el estilo calmo y hasta gozoso con que estas historias están narradas e instalan al lector en una realidad contradictoria y nada apacible.

Non-fiction

Al modo de La fórmula de la inmortalidad, su primer libro de ensayos, La razón literaria es a la vez el desarrollo del pensamiento crítico propio de Guillermo Martínez y un ejercicio de esgrima sostenido contracorriente de las tendencias dominantes en el panorama literario argentino.

En este libro, que reúne artículos, conferencias y discusiones de los últimos años, la agudeza de su pensamiento ilumina las relaciones del cine con la literatura, aspectos imprevistos en la obra de autores como Gombrowicz, Borges y Henry James y, en el vínculo entre ciencias y artes, las consecuencias sorprendentes de las series lógicas para el lenguaje y la literatura. Pero también identifica y rebate con precisión los clichés y las poses en las discusiones dentro  del campo cultural, así como los fetiches de la posmodernidad.

La curiosidad intelectual del autor de Acerca de Roderer y Crímenes imperceptibles y el rigor de sus reflexiones en busca de una razón literaria propia, logran sumar una dimensión crítica reveladora y personal a su reconocida obra como novelista y cuentista.

El teorema de incompletitud de Gödel es uno de los resultados más profundos y paradójicos de la lógica matemática. Es también, quizá, el teorema que ha ejercido más fascinación en ámbitos alejados de las ciencias exactas. Citado en disciplinas tan diversas como la semiótica y el psicoanálisis, la filosofía y las ciencias políticas, el fenómeno de incompletitud se ha asociado también a supuestas derrotas de la razón y al fin de la certidumbre en el terreno más exclusivo del pensamiento: el reino de las fórmulas exactas. Pero también desde el interior de la ciencia se esgrime el teorema de Gödel en agudas controversias epistemológicas, como la que rodea las discusiones sobre inteligencia artificial. Surgido casi a la par de la Teoría de la Relatividad, y de manera quizá más sigilosa, el teorema de Gödel se ha convertido en una pieza fundamental y una referencia ineludible del pensamiento contemporáneo.

El conjunto de artículos y ensayos de La fórmula de la inmortalidad permite descubrir la variedad de intereses intelectuales, políticos y teóricos del autor. La obra reúne sus mejores notas, artículos y conferencias, a las que se suman dos largos ensayos inéditos: uno sobre las preferencias estéticas del posmodernismo, y otro sobre la discusión de tendencias en la narrativa argentina reciente a partir de los 90. La discusión literaria incorpora debates filosóficos de fondo y ocasionalmente la dimensión de la ciencia. Una vez más, Guillermo Martínez hace honor a su inagotable curiosidad intelectual y contagia al lector su lúcida forma de abordar la literatura.

Borges and Mathematics is a short book of essays that explores the scientific thinking of the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986). Around half of the book consists of two “lectures” focused on mathematics. The rest of the book reflects on the relationship between literature, artistic creation, physics, and mathematics more generally. Written in a way that will be accessible even to those “who can only count to ten,” the book presents a bravura demonstration of the intricate links between the worlds of sciences and arts, and it is a thought-provoking call to dialog for readers from both traditions. 

Anthology / Selection

  • Selección de cuentos (2010) Eichborn (en alemán).
  • Selección de cuentos (2015) Shanghai 99 (en chino).

Prizes

  •  2019 - Nadal Prize for 'Los crímenes de Alicia'
  • 2016-  Vidakovic Prize (Serbia), Literature Festival ProseFest
  • 2006 - Kono Mystery Ga Sugoi! Best Paperback Mystery and Honkaku Mystery Award (Japan)
  • 2006 - Premio Mandarache de Jóvenes Lectores de Cartagena (Spain) for Los crímenes imperceptibles
  • 2003 - Premio Planeta Argentina for the Oxford saga of novels
  • 1988 - First Prize from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes for his book Infierno Grande
  • 1982 - First Prize in the Certamen Nacional de cuento Roberto Arlt for the book La jungla sin bestias