Beginning with an acclaimed erotic novel, she became what the premier curate called “one of the astir important writers of our time.”
Dec. 3, 2021, 3:01 p.m. ET
MADRID — Almudena Grandes, an award-winning Spanish writer and ardent feminist who changeable to fame with an erotic caller astir a pistillate rebelling against societal norms, died connected Nov. 27 astatine her location here. She was 61.
She had been treated for crab for implicit a year, her Spanish publishing house, Tusquets, said successful announcing her death.
Ms. Grandes wrote much than a twelve novels whose protagonists mostly unrecorded connected the edges of accepted Spanish society, either struggling against its intersexual restrictions oregon marginalized by poverty. She was besides a left-wing activistic who had acceptable astir penning a six-novel bid focused connected Spain successful the aftermath of its civilian warfare of the 1930s. She completed 5 volumes.
Pedro Sánchez, Spain’s Socialist premier minister, said connected Twitter, “We mislaid 1 of the astir important writers of our time.”
He added: “Committed and brave, she narrated our caller past from a progressive constituent of view.”
Ms. Grandes’s breakthrough came successful 1989 with the work of “Las edades de Lulú” (“The Ages of Lulu”), which tells the communicative of a woman’s archetypal teen emotion and however she aboriginal pursues her intersexual fantasies successful a Madrid that is undergoing a societal translation with Spain’s instrumentality to ideology aft the decease of the dictator Gen. Francisco Franco successful 1975.
The caller won a literate prize for erotic fiction, sold much than a cardinal copies worldwide and was turned into a movie by the manager Bigas Luna, with a formed that included the archetypal surface quality of Javier Bardem, the Spanish Oscar-winning actor. Among her different books, “Malena es un nombre de tango” (“Malena Is the Name of a Tango”) and “Los aires difíciles” (“The Wind From the East”), were besides adapted for the cinema.
María de la Almudena Grandes Hernández was calved connected May 7, 1960, successful Madrid. Her father, Manuel Grandes, had a plumbing business; her mother, Benita Hernández, was a homemaker. Ms. Grandes studied geography and history, specializing successful prehistory, astatine the Complutense University successful Madrid. After completing her grade she became a contributing writer for encyclopedias and question guides.
Several of Ms. Grandes’ novels are acceptable during the Franco dictatorship. One of her much caller champion sellers successful Spain — “El corazón helado” (“The Frozen Heart”), from 2007 — starts with the ceremonial of a almighty businessman, attended by a mysterious woman, during which an inheritance of wealth and documents comes to airy and helps unravel a troubled household saga dating backmost to the ravages of the Spanish Civil War.
It was connected the backmost of the occurrence of “The Frozen Heart” that Ms. Grandes started her six-novel series, acceptable during the archetypal 25 years of Franco’s dictatorship, from 1939 to 1964. She called her task “Episodios de una guerra interminable” (“Episodes successful an Interminable War”), akin to 1 of Spain’s astir celebrated literate series, the “Episodios Nacionales” (“National Episodes”), written by Benito Pérez Galdós successful the precocious 19th century.
The archetypal publication successful Ms. Grandes’ series, “Inés y la alegría” (“Inés and Happiness”), which was published successful 2010 and won 3 literate prizes, tells the communicative of a radical of left-wing guerrillas warring Franco’s forces. Last year, the 4th installment successful her series, “Los pacientes del doc García” (“The Patients of Doctor García”), won the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature, arsenic good arsenic the prestigious National Prize for Narrative, awarded by the Spanish civilization ministry. Her past published caller and 5th installment successful the series, “La madre de Frankenstein” (“The Mother of Frankenstein”), was released successful 2020.
In an sentiment article successful The New York Times successful 2013, Ms. Grandes recalled the poorness arsenic good arsenic the dignity of galore residents of Madrid successful the 1960s, a clip erstwhile “curiosity was a unsafe vice for Spanish children.” She denounced the self-censorship that has continued to shroud Spanish society, adjacent aft its instrumentality to democracy.
“Later they told america we had to forget,” she wrote, “that to physique a ideology it was indispensable to look forward, to unreal thing had happened. And by forgetting the bad, we besides erased the good.”
Joan Tarrida, who heads different Spanish publisher, Galaxia Gutenberg, said Ms. Grandes had “followed the large 19th-century literate contented of highlighting societal problems by creating characters with whom her readership could truly connect.”
“She talked to america astir our hard caller past,” helium added, “and gave a dependable to the astir susceptible successful our society.”
Ms. Grandes is survived by her husband, Luis García Montero, a writer who is the manager of the Cervantes Institute, the Spanish authorities bureau that is charged with promoting and teaching Spanish worldwide; their daughter, Elisa García Grandes; the couple’s 2 different children from erstwhile relationships, Mauro Caffarato Grandes and Irene García Chacón; and 3 siblings, Manuel, Gonzalo and Luli Grandes Hernández.
Mr. García Montero said by telephone that his woman had astir precocious been moving connected a caller (not the last installment successful her series) that helium called “an allegory of the future,” dealing with a nine that is struggling to support idiosyncratic rights and freedoms aft being assaulted by a pandemic.
Ms. Grandes was a regular contributor to the Madrid-based paper El País. She disclosed her crab diagnosis successful 1 of her columns successful October, penning that moving connected the caller and maintaining her paper contributions was helping to support her successful bully spirits.
“Writing is my life,” she wrote, “and ne'er has it been more, nor arsenic intensely arsenic now.”