Nomination Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2023Andrea Ferrari
Andrea Ferrari was born in Buenos Aires in 1961. She graduated as a literary translator into English and later developed her professional career in journalism, working for over twenty years for various media companies. In 2003 she won the Spanish Barco de Vapor Award for “The Complot of the Flowers” and in 2007 the Jaén Youth Narrative Award for “The Path of Sherlock”. Her novels THE MAN WHO WANTED TO REMEMBER, CHIMPANZEES LOOK INTO THE EYES and MAYBE ON THE TRAIN were included in the White Ravens Selection at the MUNICH INTERNATIONAL YOUTH LIBRARY. Andrea Ferrari has been selected as a candidate for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2023.
For further information, please visit: www.andreaferrari.com.ar
“Besides, you have to be constantly suspicious of your memories. In the end, recollections always contain a certain amount of invention, don’t they?”
How does one record the traces left by another person over the course of a lifetime: what becomes a memory and what is discarded? Here are twenty-four moments, photos that freeze for an instant the relationship between Vera and Cecilia, which began in a neighbourhood square when they were only three years old. Framed by the events that have shaken the country for several decades – the shadow of the Falklands war and the dictatorship, economic crises, cultural changes – these scenes speak of the chiaroscuro of friendship. From childhood games, complicity and jealousy to first love experiences, couples, children, losses, fights and reunions. There is a family secret that is pursued. A mother who silences. Through these frozen moments, the author manages to allow the reader to see, literally, these two women who share their lives for fifty years.
24 Photos (“24 fotos”) is an exciting and agile novel, which establishes Andrea Ferrari as a writer for literature lovers of all ages.
»In her first novel for adults, the author appeals to the evocative power of images to recount different moments in the lives of two women, where intimate experiences intersect with History in capital letters.«
»Those who were moved by the adventures of Lenú and Lila in the saga Two Friends, from the mysterious Elena Ferrante, will feel they are swimming in familiar waters when they discover Vera and Cecilia on these fast-moving pages.«
»Ferrari knows how to build a vigorous world out of 24 photographs. It is a kind of novel-album with a singular prodigy: the narrated photos are not there, but the readers see them.«
»The prose is smooth, fluid and there is an effective marshalling of emotion . I didn’t read it. I devoured it.«
Behind the Mask
“I’m ashamed of many things: my extremely long arms, my enormous feet, my ungainly body that I can’t even conceal with extra-large overalls. Also of the fact that my mum is pregnant (because who wants a little brother when they’re 14?). But most of all I’m ashamed of my face: a constellation of infinite pimples. So it was great when the world came to a halt with the pandemic and the all-covering face masks arrived. With my face hidden, I became a different person, someone capable of doing things I could never have imagined. Plus, I met Liz. And Melina: that was the best thing of all.
In Behind the Mask (“Detrás de la máscara”), Andrea Ferrari talks about the questions, insecurities, and decisions that arise during the teenage years: What do we show of ourselves? What do we want to hide? How do we face the gaze of others?”
»As in all stories of heroes, identity cannot be kept secret forever: the mask that conceals them sometimes drops. In this case, the most literal mask is the facemask, but there are other, more tenuous ones that come into play.«
»After reading Behind the Mask, our spaces of silence, in the words of Issa Watanabe (author of Migrants), are filled with new questions, new answers and new interpretations. Perhaps, some masks will be unveiled as well.«
ALIJA, Children’s and Young Adult Literature Association of Argentina
»These loveable and believable characters take us by the hand, and the prose has rhythm and beauty, as we are accustomed with Ferrari. Juvenile novels do not usually have illustrations, but here Candela Insúa’s images weave a careful counterpoint with the text to move forward the plot, in which there hovers, like a dark cloud, the ever-closer shadow of a deadly pandemic.
Even if we hide behind a mask, or many masks (and we all do it in one way or another, even without wearing a facemask), there will inevitably come a time when the masks must be dropped or the game abandoned, and Roberto will be faced with that difficult moment when he must confirm, beyond appearances, desires and deceptions, who he really is. Great novel by Andrea Ferrari. Recommended.«
Un plan chino (Sebastián Vargas)
The Picture of Verónica G.
The Picture of Verónica G. (“El retrato de Verónica G.”) refers to an advertising image of a beautiful young girl, Verónica, and its impact, told from the point of view of Lucía, one of her best friends. When Verónica is discovered as a model, her image invades the city, on billboards and in magazines. It provokes admiration and envy and even a ects Verónica’s relationships with her closest friends. They discuss the importance of appearance in all areas of life, and manipulation in the social media. They become distant, and when Verónica starts having problems with her boyfriend, she feels left alone. Society’s focus on the appearance is questioned by a growing group of people: at the same time that the photo makes Verónica famous, a women‘s movement in the world explodes against the mandate of traditional beauty. #fuckbeauty is the slogan that takes over the streets. In a dialogue with “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, this sharp and contemporary novel for 14-year-olds speaks of the privileges associated with beauty and the humiliations of achieving it, captivating the reader until the very end of the novel, and beyond.
»In her latest novel, the author proposes a re-reading of Oscar Wilde‘s gothic horror classic, but with a feminist tone.«
»Too real for a young adult novel? That is precisely the strength of Andrea Ferrari‘s books: they work from the dark, ruinous, complicated areas of life and, even from there, she manages to shed some light – although not always. What else makes a good book?«
The Equals (“Las iguales”) is a story of twins, of how you live when you have someone who is almost the same as you… but not quite. At the age of 10 Vivi meets a boy, Luciano, and begins to feel the need to stop doing everything together with her sister Vicky. Vicky, on the other hand, doesn’t understand this and even feels offended, leading to conflict between the sisters. Alternating by chapters entitled “Vivi” and “Vicky” respectively, the story is told with the two voices of the twins as they speak to Marta, a psychologist who interviews them following an incident at school when Vicky posed as Vivi for an exam. The voices are as different as the girls’ personalities, who ultimately learn to love each other by recognizing each other’s different personalities. A novel that invites us to dive into the preferences and conflicts of two girls as they discover their identity.
»Funny short novel.«
Trilogy – Sol by Night
Sol Linares is an atypical teenager. Cynical and lonely, she spent her childhood in the editorial office of a newspaper and always knew she would be a journalist. Her opportunity comes when, next to the hotel where a crowd of girls await the appearance of their favourite musician, she finds the body of a murdered man. With a harsh look at the world of journalism, The Speed of Music (“La velocidadde la música”), the first instalment of the series Sol by Night (“Sol de noche”), immerses its protagonist in the field of music and its fans to trace the motives for a crime. At the same time, Sol will begin to look into another, more disturbing mystery that lurks within her family. In The Signs of the Lie (“Las marcas de la mentira”), she faces the dubious circumstances surrounding her mother’s death, while in The Noise of Success (“El ruido del éxito”), Sol enters into the ups and downs of a loving relationship and discovers the truth of her family past.
»The Speed of Music has all the seasonings that may interest young readers: a mystery to solve, discovering first loves or living a contradictory relationship with the father. Ferrari distinguishes herself by her ability to tell a story well, to know how to tighten the threads of the story, to speak and keep silent, to give information in careful doses and to set several plots that develop independently.«
Chimpanzees Look Into The Eye
Chimpanzees Look Into The Eye (“Los chimpancés miran a los ojos”) is a novel conceived with intelligence and sensitivity. It achieves what is so difficult for any narrator: to capture the reader’s attention from the beginning, and to keep him or her interested in the story both for the development of the plot and for the characters. The creation of a narrative voice in the first person, authentic and convincing, is one of the main successes of this work. But so is the accuracy of the story, the psychological intensity of each situation, and the carefully measured manner in which conflicts are presented. With this novel, the Argentinean author Andrea Ferrari shows again her narrative clairvoyance, which places her at the forefront of the writers of children’s and young people’s literature in her country.
»Colloquial language, an accurate psychological description and a constant suspense seduce right from the beginning of the story, where Andrea Ferrari’s talented writing keeps readers on tenterhooks all the time and places her, once again, among the best contemporary narrators of Argentinean youth literature.«
»With a sensitive and deep look Andrea Ferrari has with this book brought us a subtle and sensitive way of approaching the pain of young people, their weakness, the marks of their suffering, which is sometimes merely a shadow of a real pain, but will not stop growing and will not go away. The text goes through a healing process, which includes fleeing and jumping over the bars, but which shows how to put oneself in the skin of another person, and whose gaze is the way to save oneself. This is a novel that besides having a suggestive title, like many of Ferrari’s books, knows how to speak in each of its pages about sensitivity and love, knows how to create distance and then suddenly plunge into the lion’s den, and knows how to look you the eye and reach the reader’s innermost thoughts.«
Ana is fifteen years old and has a parallel life in a virtual world. There, she transforms into Ishara, a beautiful and tough warrior. But how long can she close her eyes to the secret hidden in her real life? A novel that shares techniques with cinema, Zoom immerses us in an agile plot in which the action moves forward and backward as if seen through a camera, which sometimes zooms in and finds the unexpected.
Trilogy – The New Sherlock
Francisco Méndez is fourteen years old, has an extraordinary intelligence and a passion: Sherlock Holmes books. Not only does he know more about the famous detective than anyone else, he also thinks like him. His family and friends expect his intellectual brilliance to make him famous, but these expectations burden Francisco, who doubts himself. In Sherlock’s Path (“El camino de Sherlock”), three strange murders of women in his neighbourhood serve as a test and lead Francisco down a fascinating path. Humour and police intrigue are combined in this magnificent novel.
In It’s Not Easy Being Watson (“No es fácil ser Watson”), Francisco Méndez dives into another case. This time it is his friend and assistant Arturo who tells the story. But this “Watson” brings with him his own anxieties, a difficult love affair and eternal doubts about his role as the second wheel, the slow one, the one who seems to be there only to let Sherlock’s mind shine. It’s just not easy being Watson.
After college, the paths of Francisco and Arturo – or Sherlock and Watson, according to their nicknames – seem about to go their separate ways. Unable to maintain a social life or get close to women, Francisco turns to his new job as a detective’s assistant. Arturo, on the other hand, just wants to enjoy the holidays in good company. But he can’t help being drawn into the events that shake his friend’s life: the case of a famous stolen painting that puts him in mortal danger, and the reappearance of the beautiful and disturbing Violet. Don’t Call Me Bond (“No me digas Bond”) is the last part of this trilogy.
»A wonderful novel that combines with great skill a double plot – the troubled day-to-day life of the teenage protagonist and the criminal plot – that captures your attention and keeps you interested from beginning to end.«
»Ferrari builds a very smooth and at the same time well-measured plot.«
»Far from being a cold, crystallised literary “type”, Francisco is a protagonist who is caught up in the conflicts and problems of an adolescent, such as having a mother who insists on developing her son’s full potential, or being a “genius” who is not very popular at school. (…) A novel to devour (because of its enigma, its suspense, and the skill with which its textual action is constructed), but also to savour, to reread, to go back, to read looking up, as Barthes would say. If we go along Sherlock’s Path we will reach that rare and happy meeting point that can be found between a gripping plot and writing with touches of humour, and marks of intertextuality«
24 Photos (“24 fotos”)
Buenos Aires: Alfaguara 2022, 253 p.
NOVELS FOR YOUNG ADULTS (SELECTION)
Behind the Mask (“Detrás de la máscara”)
Buenos Aires: Alfaguara 2022, 176 p.
English translation available
The Picture of Verónica G. (“El retrato de Verónica G.”)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2020, 107 p.; Mexico City: Loqueleo 2021
The Equals (“Las iguales”)
(Ill. by Brenda Ruseler)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2019, 116 p.
Maybe on the Train (“Quizás en el tren”)
(Together with Martín Blasco)
Buenos Aires: Loquelo 2018
White Ravens Selection 2018 of the Munich International Youth Library
The Last Pages of My Life (“Las últimas páginas de mi vida”)
(Ill. by Pablo Picyk)
Buenos Aires: Norma 2017, 110 p.
TRILOGY “SOL BY NIGHT“ (“SOL DE NOCHE”)
The Noise of Success (“El ruido del éxito”)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo, 2016, 180 p.
The Signs of the Lie (“Las marcas de la mentira”)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2015, 218 p.
The Speed of Music (“La velocidad de la música”)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2015; Alfaguara 2015; Mexico City: Loqueleo 2017, 173 p.
Chimpanzees Look into the Eyes (“Los chimpancés miran a los ojos”)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2014, 170 p.
White Ravens Selection 2015 of the Munich International Youth Library
English translation available
Buenos Aires: SM 2013; Madrid: SM 2013; Mexico City: SM 2015; Lima: SM 2019, 137 p.
Destacados de ALIJA Award 2013
Cuatrogatos Foundation Award 2015
English translation available
The Night of the Stowaway (“La noche del polizón”)
Buenos Aires: Norma 2012, 154 p.
Destacados de ALIJA Award 2012
Cuatrogatos Foundation Award 2015
English translation available
TRILOGY “THE NEW SHERLOCK” (“EL NUEVO SHERLOCK”)
Don‘t Call Me Bond (“No me digas Bond“)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2014; Madrid: Alfaguara 2015, 256 p.
It‘s Not Easy Being Watson (“No es fácil ser Watson“)
Buenos Aires: Loqueleo 2010; Madrid: Alfaguara 2011, 129 p.
Sherlock’s Path (“El camino de Sherlock”)
Buenos Aires, Madrid, Mexico City, Bogotá, Lima, La Paz, USA: Loqueleo 2007; Madrid: Alfaguara 2007, 184 p.
Jaén Youth Narrative Award 2007
Over 100,000 copies sold in Spanish language
English translation available
The Las Flores Conspiracy (“El complot de Las Flores”)
Buenos Aires: SM 2003; Madrid: SM 2003, 137 p.
Barco de Vapor Prize 2003
Brazil: SM 2005 · Bulgaria: Tonipress 2018 · France: Flammarion 2012 · Korea: Rayon House 2005 · Russia: Kompas Guide 2019