Mateo García Elizondo

Mateo García Elizondo

Ciudad de México, México, 1987

Mateo García Elizondo holds a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Westminster in London, and a PHD in Journalism from the London School of Journalism. He wrote the film scripts for Desierto, Domingo (2013) and Clickbait (2018) and his fiction has appeared in media such as Granta, Nexos, Epoka and Huun.Arte/pensamiento desde México. His work as a graphic novel scriptwriter has been published by WP Comics, Premier Comics, Swampline Comics and the magazine Entropy. His first novel, Una cita con la Lady, won the City of Barcelona Award. In 2021 he was listed by Granta magazine as one of the world's best writers in Spanish under thirty-five years of age.

‘García Elizondo is carving his own path at the forefront of a burgeoning scene in Spanish language literature.’ The Guardian

Bibliography

A spectral journey between life and death, between love and its loss. Mateo García Elizondo's excellent debut.

“I came to Zapotal to die once and for all. As soon as I set foot in the town I got rid of everything I had in my pockets, the keys to the house I abandoned in the city, and anything with my name or a picture of my face on it. I have nothing left but three thousand pesos, two hundred grams of opium and a quarter of an ounce of heroin, and that should be enough to kill me.” 

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Novel

2019 City of Barcelona Literature Award

A spectral journey between life and death, between love and its loss. Mateo García Elizondo's excellent debut.

“I came to Zapotal to die once and for all. As soon as I set foot in the town I got rid of everything I had in my pockets, the keys to the house I abandoned in the city, and anything with my name or a picture of my face on it. I have nothing left but three thousand pesos, two hundred grams of opium and a quarter of an ounce of heroin, and that should be enough to kill me.” The protagonist and narrator of this novel goes in search of a definitive appointment with ‘the lady’ in the form of white powder. And to do so he embarks on a journey to the end of the night; he has a succession of disturbing encounters, with the ghosts of friends who have died along the way, with his memories of the great city he left behind, and with his own past.

The opening sentence of the novel evokes the famous beginning of Rulfo's Pedro Páramo, and there are echoes in its pages of the grotesque Mexican carnival of self-destruction of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. In this extraordinary and surprising debut, Mateo García Elizondo uses hypnotic, absorbing prose to narrate a journey into the heart of darkness, the spectral descent into hell of an addict who takes a path with only one possible destination, which comes closer and closer.

‘García Elizondo is carving his own path at the forefront of a burgeoning scene in Spanish language literature.’ The Guardian

‘One of the most promising first novels to be published recently in Spanish.’ La Vanguardia 

‘We must pay attention to what follows because this initial display of García Elizondo appears to make it clear that we are facing a highly interesting voice, capable of sustaining the pulse of history through a direct and fluid discourse that fluctuates between the contemporary and the ancestral.’ El Periódico de Catalunya 

‘With direct and stark writing, at times hypnotic, through which he explores the limits of human nature without hesitating to cross the boundaries between reality and fantasy, hallucination and normalcy, delving into the squalor of a world where life is barely a memory and death the most anticipated journey.’ Zenda

“Voilà un roman puissant, pesant, attrapeur, un de ceux qui laissent chez le lecteur la prégnante impression, faite à la fois de malaise et de jouissance, d’avoir été, pendant la lecture et bien après fermeture du livre, littéralement, littérairement, magistralement « baladé ».[…] Magistrale, efficace, formidable attrapoire textuelle !” La Cause littéraire

“Ce qu’il faut retenir, par dessus de tout ce que l’on vient de dire, ce sont les deux idées maîtresses de ce roman : l’éloge en ombre chinoise de la double présence de la vie et de la mort et l’espoir que tout être humain a droit à revisiter son passé et à faire l’examen de ce que l’on appelle par un mot-valise usé aujourd’hui, celui de « réussir sa vie ». Nous le savons, la littérature tient d’ailleurs à nous le rappeler à tout moment, lorsque le réel devient trop aveuglant, trop lourd à porter, le seul moyen de lui échapper c’est de nous réfugier dans le fantastique. En cela, le pari de son début en littérature du jeune auteur Matéo García Elizondo est brillamment gagné et tout aussi prometteur.” Lettres Capitales

“Dans un style qui mêle l’oralité du témoignage à une écriture très littéraire, Garcia Elizondo brouille à loisir les frontières entre rêve et réel, souvenirs et cauchemars, passé et présent, vie et mort.” Le Monde

Prizes

  • 2019 - City of Barcelona Literature Award for Una cita con la Lady