La Piccioletta Barca

This discussion was led by Nacho Oliden, who has selected four short stories (including the title story) from Samanta Schweblin's collection Mouthful of Birds.

About Mouthful of Birds

Mouthful of Birds includes twenty stories previously published in short story collections internationally, including one published by Granta magazine. The collection, curated by the author, forms an anthology of her best short prose to date; an indispensable piece of contemporary Argentine literature.

Heir to the most prestigious literary tradition, in the vein of Julio Cortázar, Felisberto Hernández, and Kafka, Schweblin handles language in an extraordinary way, with a sober and effective prose at the service of stories that move on the border between the real and the fantastic. Disturbing and disconcerting, Schweblin's tales pose an enigma that provokes the reader.

About Samanta Schweblin

Schweblin graduated from the University of Buenos Aires with a degree in Image and Sound Design. In 2001 she won the first prize from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes for her book of short stories The nucleus of disturbance (2002), and her story ‘Towards the cheerful civilization of the Capital’ won the first prize in the Haroldo Conti National Contest. Her second book of short stories, Pájaros en la boca (2009), won the Casa de las Américas Prize in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, she was chosen by the British magazine Granta as one of the twenty-two best female writers in Spanish under 35 years of age.

Her short story ‘A man without luck’ won the Juan Rulfo award in 2012. In 2014, she was distinguished with the Konex Award, Diploma of Merit, for her career as a storyteller during the period 2009-2013. The following year, in 2014, she won the Ribera del Duero Short Narrative Award thanks to her short story book Siete casas vacías.

In 2015 she won the Tigre Juan Award for his first novel, Distancia de Salvacion. The English version of the novel, published under the title Fever Dream by Oneworld Publisher in the United Kingdom and by Riverhead Books in the United States, and which was translated by Megan McDowell, was selected among the finalists for the International Booker Award in its 2017 edition. A year later, in 2018, the novel won the Tournament of Books Award as ‘best book of the year published in the United States,’ and the Shirley Jackson Prize in the short novel category. In addition, that same year she published her second novel, Kentukis, and published the short story ‘The Cave Breathing (belonging to the book Seven Empty Houses)’ as a nouvelle with illustrations by the Argentine artist Duna Rolando.

Three interviews with writer Samanta Schweblin:

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