Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1978

Samantha Schweblin studied image and sound, specialising in screenplay writing. At just twenty years old, she embarked on a literary career that has brought her great success with critics and readers alike. She first came to attention in Spain for her book Pájaros en la boca, a collection of short stories that had gained her the Premio Casa de las América. In 2010 she was included in the prestigious Granta journal among the twenty best Ibero-American fiction writers of her generation. In 2012 she was awarded the Premio Juan Rulfo for her story Un hombre sin suerte, while in 2014 she won the Premio Konex-Diploma for her career as a short story writer. Samanta Schweblin has been hailed as one of the greatest Argentinian short story writers of recent decades. In 2017 she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for her novel Distancia de rescate (Fever Dream).

  • “This is the best Argentinian storyteller, regardless of gender.” Ana María Shua, Perfil
  • “The Grimm brothers and Franz Kafka pay a visit to Argentina in Samanta Schweblin's darkly humorous tales of people who have slipped through cracks or fallen down holes into alternate realities.” JM Coetzee
  • “Schweblin writes in a spare and highly impressionistic style that embraces instability: of space, identity, and the reader’s trust… Schweblin, like Gray and Ball, has found ways to electrify and destabilize the physical world.” Los Angeles Times

Bibliography

Disturbing, intelligent, funny, and perverse. Pure Samanta Schweblin.

In her second novel, Kentukis, Samanta Schweblin exceeds all expectations with a story of crossed lives and new technologies along the lines of the series Black Mirror. Several characters from different continents, of widely varying ages and social status, come into contact with each other through their high-tech pets, the kentukis.

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Novel

Disturbing, intelligent, funny, and perverse. Pure Samanta Schweblin.

In her second novel, Kentukis, Samanta Schweblin exceeds all expectations with a story of crossed lives and new technologies along the lines of the series Black Mirror. Several characters from different continents, of widely varying ages and social status, come into contact with each other through their high-tech pets, the kentukis. Under the harmless, amiable guise of cuddy toys, the kentukis provide remote access to other people’s private lives. Through their shameless gaze, we’ll discover that trusting the kind-ness of strangers can lead to a marvellous adventure, an unexpected love, or unequalled terror.

“A staggering view of contemporary voyeurism. A page-turner.” Gustavo Guerrero, editor of Éditions Gallimard

“You have to be observant and wise to write this. It’s original, it’s fresh, and it’s wise at the same time; it’s a mirror for all of us.”  Nelleke Geel, editor of Atlas Contact

«Una obra breve, extraña y eficaz, que se mueve en los límites entre la intimidad y la intromisión, entre la privacidad y el espectáculo y que Samanta Schweblin conduce con un pulso narrativo firme, sin fisuras, en sintonía con la cadencia de sus mejores relatos." D. Gándara, La Razón

"To achieve this (...), you have to be a very, very good writer. And, above all, you have to have a gift for the purest original and revealing fiction." J. Ernesto Ayala-Dip, El País

 “A good critical look at contemporary life within a very enjoyable fable.” Santos Sanz Villanueva, El Cultural

 

 

2017 Shirley Jackson Award (Novella)

Best Book of 2017 by The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Economist

Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.

"Like another unforgettable short novel about a woman speeding towards a foreshadowed doom, Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat, Schweblin’s book leaves the reader with detective work to do. But Fever Dream’s ambiguities, and the intricate psychologies with which Schweblin invests her characters, mean that rereading proves rewarding even when the suspense is removed. Wherever you decide the truth lies, aspects of Amanda’s story will continue to puzzle and haunt you long after she stops being able to tell it." –Chris Power, The Guardian

“No previous book, at least, has filled me with unease the way Fever Dream did… It’s a slim book, and it belongs to the category of short, impressionistic novels best consumed in a single sitting… The genius of Fever Dream is less in what it says than in how Schweblin says it, with a design at once so enigmatic and so disciplined that the book feels as if it belongs to a new literary genre altogether.”—Jia Tolentino, NewYorker.com

"Samanta Schweblin’s electric story reads like a Fever Dream." Vanity Fair  

"Genius." —Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker 

"If Pedro Páramo and The Twilight Zone had a baby, it would look like this. "—Dan Sheehan, Literary Hub's Favorite Books of 2017 

“Schweblin writes in a spare and highly impressionistic style that embraces instability: of space, identity, and the reader’s trust… Schweblin, like Gray and Ball, has found ways to electrify and destabilize the physical world.”  Los Angeles Times

"Samanta Schweblin is another example of the excellent health of Argentinian literature. (...) Schweblin's writing is exceptional in its precision and for the way it utilizes silence. And silence, the power of what is not said, is what moves any narrative closer to poetry. " 10 Essential 21st-Century Spanish Language Books, by Elvira Navarro, Publishers Weekly 

“This small debut novel packs a mighty, and lingering, punch. In Fever Dream Samanta Schweblin wraps contemporary nightmares, both private and public, into a compact, but explosive, package. Ms Schweblin delivers a skin-prickling masterclass in dread and suspense. Sentence by sinister sentence, she instils and then intensifies ‘a terrifying feeling of doom.’” The Economist

“Samanta Schweblin’s electric story reads like a Fever Dream.”—Vanity Fair

“Mesmerizing... Schweblin, though, is an artist of remarkable restraint… Schweblin renders psychological trauma with such alacrity that the conceit of a poisoned environment feels almost beside the point.” —Washington Post

“An absorbing and inventive tale that some will label ‘magical realism,’ like the work of Schweblin's fellow South American writers Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Luis Borges. But Schweblin is a fine mythmaker, singular in her own fantastical artistry.”—Houston Chronicle

“A remarkable accomplishment in literary suspense.”—New York Journal of Books

“If you want to read something that terrifies you and upsets you, and makes you feel like you’re going crazy, yet also makes you feel like you can’t put it down and you never want it to end because you love it so much, this is the book for you… It’s some of the most compelling, fantastic writing I’ve ever read!” —BookRiot

“This is a weird hallucination of a book—reading it feels like an experience, like something that happens to you, as infectious and mysterious and unstoppable and possibly magical as the disease that powers its plot.” —LitHub

Fever Dream is worth reading for its inventiveness alone. Schweblin gives us memorable characters and a haunting parable, all in fewer than 200 short pages.” –Maddie Crum, Huffington Post

“A taut, exquisite page-turner vibrating with existential distress and cumulative dread…Once the top blows off Schweblin's chest of horrors, into which we'd been peeking through a masterfully manipulated crack, what remains is an unsettling and significant dissection of maternal love and fear, of the devastation we've left to the future, and of our inability to escape or control the unseen and unimagined threats all around us. In a literary thriller of the highest order, Schweblin teases out the underlying anxieties of being vulnerable and loving vulnerable creatures and of being an inhabitant of a planet with an increasingly uncertain future.” Kirkus, Starred review

“[A] pulsating debut…Schweblin guides her reader through a nightmare scenario with amazing skill.” Publishers Weekly

“A breath of fresh air… Those who are willing to stay with this book will find the experience like no other and well worth the effort. Readers of Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, García Márquez, and other magical realism practitioners will devour this brilliant, unsettling novel.”—Library Journal, Starred Review

“After reading Fever Dream, I wanted Schweblin to let the rope out more. Not because Fever Dream isn’t an almost perfect short novel — because it most certainly is. But because I wanted to see what Schweblin could do when she went deeper into the place where she so skillfully had taken me.”—Washington Post

“ exceptional…of course our real guide is Samanta Schweblin, translated perfectly by Megan McDowell, who for my money is the best Spanish-to-English translator around. Schweblin writes with such restraint that I never questioned a sentence or a statement. This is the power of the short novel: Stripped down to its essentials, her story all but glows.” –NPR

“Schweblin’s sublime command of form, together with the power, restraint and precision of her prose, result in a work of almost fathomless intellectual and psychological richness that unfolds with the compulsiveness of a thriller.”  –Matthew Adams, The National

 “20 Short Novels to Stay Up All Night Reading,” “This is a weird hallucination of a book—reading it feels like an experience, like something that happens to you, as infectious and mysterious and unstoppable and possibly magical as the disease that powers its plot. There is absolutely no way to put it down without breaking the spell, so make sure you’re comfy.” –Emily Temple, LitHub

Where New and Noteworthy Books BeginPoets and Writers, PW.org

“Samanta Schweblin is one of Latin America's best young authors, and Fever Dream is her breathtaking English-language debut.” –Paste Magazine

“The unique style, the quick paced rhythm and the amazingly wise and compact storytelling create a special novel that will stay in your mind long after you put this book down.” —Etgar Keret, author of The Seven Good Years

“Samanta Schweblin will injure you, however safe you may feel.”  —Jesse Ball, author of How to Set a Fire and Why and A Cure for Suicide

Fever Dream is a small masterpiece, a beautiful and chillingly contemporary book. Every word throbs a kind of wisdom that can only come from a meticulous and fully engaged observation of reality.”—Alejandro Zambra, author of Multiple Choice and My Documents

"Samanta Schweblin is a magician, and reading her work is an intense, almost physical experience. This mind-bending book sheds new light—or rather, new darkness—on the intense power of love in a poisoned world. You must read it. Prepare to be mesmerized, riveted, terrified, and changed."—Helen Phillips, author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat

"A wonderful nightmare of a book: tender and frightening, disturbing but compassionate. Fever Dream is a triumph of Schweblin's outlandish imagination."—Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Sound of Things Falling and Reputations

"[Schweblin] has a unique, inventive voice, and her stories have this ability to veer off into strange and unexpected territories with sublime grace. I admire and envy this gift." —Daniel Alarcón, author of At Night We Walk in Circles

Interview with Samanta Schweblin at Literature Hub: 'Samanta Schweblin on revealing darkness through fiction' / Jan. 12, 2017

“a beautifully hallucinatory and dreadful experience.”New York Magazine’s The Cut

Short stories and novellas

“The Grimm brothers and Franz Kafka pay a visit to Argentina in Samanta Schweblin’s darkly humorous tales of people who have slipped through cracks or fallen down holes into alternate realities.” JM Coetzee

Pájaros en la boca y otros cuentos (Birds in the Mouth and other Stories) is the best way to enter the fascinating universe of Samanta Schweblin. Recently nominated for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for her novel Fever Dream, Schweblin is one of the Spanish-language writers with the greatest projection on today's literary scene.

The selection, made by the author herself, comprises an anthology of her best short prose to date, as well as an indispensable component of contemporary Argentine literature.

Heiress to the most prestigious literary tradition, along the lines of Raymond Carver and Flannery O'Connor, Schweblin has an extraordinary way of handling language, with sober, effective prose at the service of stories that move between the boundaries of the real and fantastic. Schweblin’s disturbing and disconcerting stories pose an enigma that provokes and thoroughly traps the reader.

“Samanta Schweblin’s stories. Harsh. Coldly observed. Brutally narrated. Hers are among the best stories of our generation.” Andrés Neuman

“Schweblin once again deploys a heavy dose of nightmare fuel in this frightening, addictive collection…canny, provocative, and profoundly unsettling.” Publishers Weekly

"Schweblin builds dense and uncanny worlds, probing the psychology of human relationships and the ways we perceive existence and interpret culture, with dark humor and sharp teeth. An assemblage of both gauzy and substantial stories from an unquestionably imaginative author." Kirkus Review

“Implacable narrative clockwork capable of keeping readers on edge, to the point of taking their breath away, [...] from whose electric shock no reader will find release.” El Mundo

“The surprise of discovering that all the other arts are contained in a literary text.” Mario Bellatín

“Samanta Schweblin is perhaps the best story writer Spanish-language literature has produced in the last 30 years.” Flavia Pitella

“Schweblin writes in a spare and highly impressionistic style that embraces instability: of space, identity, and the reader’s trust…Schweblin, like Gray and Ball, has found ways to electrify and destabilize the physical world.” Los Angeles Times

“The stories in Siete casas vacías allow us to glimpse through a perverse lens –that of the narrator or sometimes the reader– the terrors and incongruities hidden behind apparently costumbrist scenes.

Seven dazzling stories honoured with today’s most important prize for books of stories in Spanish: the Ribera del Duero International Short Story Prize. Its release coincided with the publication of Schweblin’s first novel, Distancia de rescate (Fever Dream), which was hailed by critics as one of the great literary events of the year.

"She injects suspense and anguish into everyday scenarios, furnished houses and cars, and makes simple objects such as refrigerators, sugar bowls and ashtrays take on mysterious connotations and shake up families, couples and identities." Xavi Ayén, La Vanguardia

"Contains what good stories have, a secret inside, something that is never completely told, and is left to the reader’s discretion." –Javier Goñi, Mercurio

"A true master of the genre." J. A. Masoliver, La Vanguardia

"We read wanting to cover our eyes, but leaving a crack between our fingers through which we recognise clichés that will always be extraordinary when recounted by a writer like Schweblin.Marta Sanz, BabeliaEl País 

«La lista era parte de un plan: Lola sospechaba que su vida había sido demasiado larga, tan simple y liviana que ahora carecía del peso suficiente para desaparecer. Había concluido, al analizar la experiencia de algunos conocidos, que incluso en la vejez la muerte necesitaba de un golpe final. Un empujón emocional, o físico. Y ella no podía darle a su cuerpo nada de eso. Quería morirse, pero todas las mañanas, inevitablemente, volvía a despertarse».

Así comienza La respiración cavernaria, uno de los más intensos y celebrados relatos de Samanta Schweblin —una apasionante historia sobre la pérdida, el desconcierto, la obsesión y los recuerdos—, que cobra nueva vida y lecturas gracias a las impresionantes pinturas de Duna Rolando.

Un hombre bajito, que atiende la barra de un bar sabiendo que en el trastero la muerte lo está esperando, unas mujeres vestidas de novia que confabulan en una carretera de noche, un trabajador honesto y loco, que cava un pozo como queriendo hurgar las raíces de la tierra, la mirada extraviada de un niño que no recuerda el sabor del azúcar , un anciano que se deleita con juguetes y un perro que agoniza en el maletero de un coche sin saber que su sacrificio será inútil. Este es el mundo de Samanta Schweblin, un territorio peculiar, hecho de esperas y preguntas, donde el lector tiene su parte en la resolución de los enigmas que plantea el cuento; un mundo que a veces nos recuerda a Kafka y otras nos lleva hasta Flannery O´Connor, manteniendo siempre su propia identidad, y donde la escritura, sobria y eficaz, está al servicio de las historias que cuenta, sin un adjetivo de más o un verbo de menos. Si, como decía ítalo Calvino, la buena literatura es aquella que acecha la vida usando las palabras adecuadas, aquí tenemos a una joven autora que conoce muy bien su oficio y con Pájaros en la boca abre una nueva puerta a la literatura de nuestro tiempo.

En 2017, coincidiendo con su traducción al inglés, se reedita esta selección con el título Pájaros en la boca y otros cuentos/ Mouthful of Birds.

Estas historias de Samanta Schweblin pueden parecer engañosamente simples, pero cuando alcanzan su punto álgido, dichas historias abren nuevas realidades en aquello que nos rodean cada día. Su capacidad de convertir el lenguaje de los niños en algo oscuro, o reimaginar un cuento de hadas como la Sirenita como una serie de actos indecisos, hacen de ella uno de los escritores más interesantes de América Latina. Paul Doyle, en The Firelight, junio 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conjunto de relatos de esta interesante autora que se mantiene en un eclecticismo entre lo sucesible y lo inverosímil. Algunos relatos son evidentemente fantásticos, como es el caso de El destinatario, Agujeros negros, Mismo Lugar y El momento; otros acometen el género acercándose de puntillas, bordeándolo sin zambullirse. Persiste un enrarecimiento en el ambiente, un clima de desconcierto en el que las conductas de las personas son más propias del estado onírico que de la vigilia. Es una trama que, por momentos, raya en el surrealismo, en la cual los protagonistas quedan atónitos ante la conducta del derredor y se ven supeditados a ella.

Anthology / Selection

In 2010, Granta ventured for the first time outside the Anglophone realm, to the Western world’s second-most-widely-spoken language. The magazine chose 22 writers, from Spain and seven Latin American countries, all of them 35 or under, in a new category called Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists. Samanta Schweblin was amongst them.

Se trata de una colección de cuentos fantásticos con una selección, prólogo y notas de Ana María Shua. La aportación de Samanta Schweblin se titula En la estepa.

Una antología de la nueva narrativa latinoamericana, con selección y prólogo de Diego Trelles Paz.

Alejados del lugar común que señala que el futuro pertenece a los más jóvenes, los autores de El futuro no es nuestro, nacidos entre 1970 y 1980, contribuyen con sus relatos a una antología que reúne a los escritores más destacados de nuestro continente. Asumiendo con madurez esa premisa, los cuentos aquí reunidos recorren un universo narrativo vastísimo -en el que nada de lo que el mundo pueda ofrecer resulta ajeno- para apropiarse de esa cultura del mestizaje, de la inmigración, de la mezcla propia de América Latina como de ningún otro continente. 

Esta antología da un paso adelante de los escritores del llamado Boom latinoamericano y presenta la narrativa de personas jóvenes, con una visión de la vida y de sus países más acorde con la realidad contemporánea. Seleccionados por su originalidad y talento, los veintitrés cuentos reunidos en este libro son una cita inexcusable con la nueva narrativa argentina, una invitación gozosa a lo mejor de la literatura que se está escribiendo hoy, una ocasión privilegiada para leer a quienes serán en el futuro grandes escritores.

Es un muestrario de 25 narradores de 13 países, nacidos entre 1974 y 1987, con selección y prólogo del escritor peruano Salvador Luis. Motivado más por el placer y la calidad del texto que por los fines bibliotecarios que suelen impulsar a los antólogos, Salvador Luis intenta coordinar las jóvenes voces que van surgiendo en la asamblea diversa y agitada que es la literatura escrita en ese idioma que, por comodidad, llamaremos español. Los cuentos reunidos, además de ser textos memorables, logran conformar una radiografía de la diversidad de la escritura en el presente, como se expone en el inteligente prólogo, que enfatiza lo literario más que lo ideológico. 

Una lectura ingenua pudiera notar en estas historias una ausencia de “grandes conflictos”, o incluso un “descompromiso” con eso que suele llamarse “realidad”, y no andaría del todo descaminada. Aquí no se retrata la realidad, incluso se la omite a ratos o se le ignora totalmente. Aquí no se habla del Hombre, porque se habla de la gente. La Historia cede paso ante el suceso. No se reporta un gran fuego, apenas se habla de las cenizas. Incluye obra de Samanta Schweblin.

Creado en el 2007 por el escritor Adrián Haidukowski, el Jam de Escritura es la velada más original e innovadora del circuito literario internacional actual. En cada encuentro el autor invitado escribe su texto en vivo, improvisando frente a los espectadores. Así da lugar a una nueva relación entre el lector y el autor. La interfaz tecnológica crea una novedad para que el escritor se muestre frente a sus lectores en el momento mismo de su creación. Mientras tanto, un DJ completa el ambiente literario recreando la música elegida por el escritor.

Washington Cucurto, Gonzalo Garcés, Pedro Mairal, Andrés Neuman, Patricio Pron, Samanta Schweblin... La joven guardia es la primera antología que reúne a esta generación de nuevos escritores argentinos y constituye un acontecimiento literario: es la oportunidad de conocer a quienes se convertirán sin duda en los escritores -¿clásicos?, ¿malditos?- de mañana. Leerlos hoy implica el desafío de descubrirlos y el placer de avizorar las nuevas tendencias de la literatura. Tras el enorme éxito de esta antología en Argentina, donde la revista Rolling Stone la señaló como uno de los diez libros imprescindibles del año, nos llega esa selección de relatos con tres nuevas incorporaciones. Así pues, La joven guardia es una constatación del vigor y la vitalidad de un género fundamental de nuestra tradición literaria y una muestra de la maestría y la convicción con la que se han entregado a él. 

Includes the short story Matar un perro by Samanta Schweblin.

Prizes

  • 2017 - Shirley Jackson Award (Novella) for Fever Dream
  • 2017 - Shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize for  Distancia de rescate (Fever Dream)
  • 2015 - Premio Tigre Juan de novela for Distancia de rescate (Fever Dream)
  • 2015 - Premio Ribera de Duero de Narrativa Breve for Siete casas vacías
  • 2014 - Premio Konex - Diploma al Mérito for her career 2009-2013
  • 2012 - Premio Juan Rulfo of short stories for Un hombre sin suerte
  • 2010 - Included in the Granta List 'Best of Young Spanish-Language novelists' 
  • 2008 - Casa de las Américas Award for the story book La furia de las pestes
  • 2001 - Fondo Nacional de las Artes Award for the short story Hacia la alegre civilización de la capital
  • 2001 - Fondo Nacional de las Artes Award for El núcleo del disturbio
  • 2001 - First Prize at the Concurso Nacional Haroldo Conti for the short story Hacia la alegre civilización de la capital