Almudena Solana: “I feel like sharing many stories on this side of the ocean”

Spanish writer Almudena Solana's latest novel “Efectos secundarios” (Side Effects) was recently published by Planeta. The author talked to ARS about her commitment with PEN Center USA, her wish to move to the U.S. and her latest project: Literature with fabrics.

Q: Efectos Secundarios (Side Effects), published by Planeta, is your latest novel; the novel has also received wonderful reviews here in the USA. Tell us about this novel. (Read here the review published by The Huffington Post)

A: This novel is told by ten characters who are named for the medicines they consume. It is a very universal story full of second chances, because in my opinion, that's what side effects are.

Q: You have just joined PEN Center USA. Are you considering the possibility of coming to live in the United States?

A: Yes, that's something that pleases me very much. I share PEN's ideology and I hope to contribute to the project from the standpoint of commitment and freedom inherent in writing. I have more and more commitments here and moving at this time to the USA is proceeding in a natural way. Yes, I feel like sharing many stories on this side of the ocean.

Q: Tell us about your evolution as a writer since El Curriculum de Aurora Ortiz (The Curriculum Vitae of Aurora Ortiz) published in 2002 (translated into English and published by Random House in 2005 and adapted for the stage in England in 2011).

A: My first novel, El Curriculum de Aurora Ortiz, was translated into English and I was given the added surprise of seeing it adapted for the stage in England recently. I remain the same; someone who strives to bring to light stories from the world that surrounds me and from small things... that I make enormous. Literature allows me to be very aware and to share my doubts with others, turning the world on its head, if possible... and with fiction it's possible.

Q: Share with our readers your new project of Literature with Fabrics. What's it about?

A: I've called it “Fabrics Poetry”. I express myself with fabrics, and I take as much care with them as I do with words; the best adjectives or the ideal textiles are just as suggestive as a poem. Working with fabrics, moreover, is the only thing that allows me to disconnect from novel writing and still tell stories. Those stories are my visual poetry. There are exhibitions of the work planned in Spain and the USA in the near future.