This morning I found my pigeonhole as I like it: stuffed with a parcel accompanied by a payslip. The latter, a tad disappointing (an expected disappointment, though, so can’t complain); the former, a bit more exciting. All the way from Amazon(.co.uk), two books by Venezuela’s most exported contemporary author, Alberto Barrera Tyszka.
I’d ordered La enfermedad (2006) about six times previously from various booksellers, and each one failed to arrive. Convinced that there was some sort of conspiracy against me reading a Venezuelan published by Anagrama, I sort of gave up. Until I realised that I hadn’t registered my name with the website handler, which probably explains all those missing books (sorry, trees). Long overdue and finally here, I look forward to snuggling up with Barrera’s of family breakdowns and slow death.
Rating (2011) is Barrera’s most recent novel, shortlisted last week for ‘El Premio de la Crítica a la novela de 2011’. It’s a story that explores reality shows and soap-operas, somewhat ironically given the decline of the Venezuelan telenovela over the past decade. The theme of high lit. meets pop. culture isn’t particularly new or novel; but Barrera’s unforgiving anti-government stance might add something more into the mix here.