Almudena Grandes, who passed away at the age of 61 after a long illness, was the writer who gave voice to the Spanish 20th century. The most difficult for a country that dreamed of the republic, then torn apart by the civil war, dominated by the longest European fascist dictatorship and then launched towards a vital recovery, from the 1980s but not yet completely pacified with Francoism. Since 2010 he had started a project of historical novels by publishing, “Inés and the cheerfulness” which opens the series of the long epic in six impressive and beautiful historical novels of Spain of the ‘900 entitled “Episodes of an interminable war”.
At the beginning, however, Grandes had given voice to the contemporaneity of that suddenly modernized Spain, in which the female component immediately demonstrated the social and cultural drive, to which he had given voice with his debut in fiction, “The ages of Lulu”, of the 1989, a work immediately translated into twenty languages transposed to the cinema by Bigas Luna who had contributed to making his writing even more known. Grandes immediately leaves the erotic vein, but in subsequent novels he keeps the thread of the story of reality and women of contemporaneity, in works such as “Malena, a name from Tango” or the collection of short stories “Models of a woman” as well as in “Atlas of human geography” (1998), “The difficult years” (2002) and “Too much love” (2004) continued to investigate psychological transformations, female emancipation, moral and material change, the social contradictions of Spain between the late 1900s and early 2000s, launched after decades of sleepy isolation of the finger. tatura of Franco, to become an important democracy in the nascent European Union.
“We lose one of the leading writers of our time”, wrote on Twitter the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez remembering her. A recognition of a collective voice that in recent years has made many intellectuals say that Almudena Grandes, like and more than other Spanish writers, had succeeded in the enterprise in which politicians and historians had failed: to reconstruct a common history, to create the voice of a people, recounting the many souls of the country, the defeated and the victors, a position that however the two sides, the right and the left, which during the century have clashed, have occupied alternating, and which still lasted under the apparent pacification in the battle or “interminable war” as he called it to give unity to the cycle of novels of his great enterprise (Ines and happiness; The boy who read Verne; The three marriages of Manolita; Doctor Garcia’s patients, published in Italy from Guanda, and the last ones. The mother of Frankenstein and Mariano en el Bidasoa). With these books he had reconstructed the real experience, the common stories, even the stories of divisions and lacerations within the family, friendships, loves, accomplishing in this a sort of ideal pacification, within a powerful and enthralling narrative architecture, in which History it was portrayed in its daily, minimal, human aspects, also recounting many true and unknown events of the civil war. Grandes had moved with the poet Luis Garcìa Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute and had recently told how she was coping with her illness, which she could not overcome.