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One way to make studying more fun and efficient is to approach the most representative films and literary works of the Spanish language. 😄
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Today we will talk about Modelos de mujer, an important book of short stories by Spanish author Almudena Grandes. 📖
Modelos de mujer
Modelos de mujer is Almudena Grandes’ first collection of short stories. It was published in 1996 and, as the author confesses in the prologue, it is a book connected to her childhood and to certain memories from her youth.
“Los ojos rotos” tells a story in which madness and uncertainty are the central themes. Miguela is a woman with Down’s Syndrome who, after the death of her mother, is admitted to a sanatorium. Queti is also a patient in the same institution. She tells the story of Miguela and her mysterious encounters with a ghost.
“Malena, una vida hervida” is a story with autobiographical overtones. It tells the sad story of an obese woman who struggles with different diets for thirty years to fit into society and comply with certain social standards.
In “Bárbara contra la muerte” we witness how its young protagonist goes fishing with her grandfather on what is intended to be a peaceful afternoon. At the sight of the worms that will serve as bait, Barbara recalls an experience she had at her nuns’ school. The girl will never stop thinking about death, and the worms will be an important catalyst for her feelings.
“Amor de madre” tells the story of a mother and daughter and shows us how overprotection can sometimes have unexpected effects. At some point in her adolescence, Marianne decides to stop being the perfect child and start living.
Perhaps “El vocabulario de los balcones” is the most complex story in the book because of the multitude of themes that converge in it. The protagonist is a teenager called Chamberí with whom a young man, known by the nickname of “El Macarrón”, seems to have an obsession.
The book closes with the story of the same name, “Modelos de mujer”, which is more like a short novel. The central theme is the beauty and exuberance of the female body from the perspective of two women: Eva, a beautiful but somewhat short-sighted woman, and Lola, who by contrast is brilliant but not very physically graceful.
Modelos de mujer is a book that delves into the female universe from different perspectives but always with frankness, insight and honesty. The seven stories that make up the book are an enjoyable and profound read that will not be easily forgotten.
The famous Spanish writer Almudena Grandes was born in Madrid on 7 May 1960.
She always had a vocation for literature. However, due to family pressure, she enrolled at the Complutense University of Madrid, specifically in the Faculty of Geography and History.
After graduating, she worked for a time as an encyclopaedic editor. As a curiosity, she played some minor roles in the cinema.
Her first novel, Las edades de Lulú, won the renowned La Sonrisa Vertical prize and was published by Tusquets Editores in 1989.
A year later it was adapted for cinema by the director Bigas Luna. Grandes collaborated in the writing of the screenplay and received a Goya nomination in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.
Thanks to the resounding success of her first book, which was translated into more than 20 languages, Almudena Grandes devoted herself fully to literature and continued her fruitful career as a novelist.
Among his best-known books are: Te llamaré Viernes, Malena es un nombre de tango and Atlas de geografía humana.
She carried out an ambitious narrative project, Episodios de una guerra interminable, a series of novels whose main theme revolves around the anti-Francoist resistance during several decades of the 20th century.
She published two books of short stories, Modelos de mujer and Estaciones de paso.
She was a columnist for the newspaper El País for many years.
Among the most important prizes her received for her literary work are the Julián Besteiro Prize for the Arts and Literature, the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize 2011 and the National Narrative Prize.
Almudena Grandes died on 27 November 2021, aged 61, of colon cancer. Her last novel, Todo va a mejorar, was published posthumously in 2022.
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Alejandro Coita Sánchez
Spanish Express Blogger