Project Description

Life in MiniatureMariana Sández

Argentina/Spain

Mariana Sández was born in Buenos Aires and lives in Madrid. She is a writer, journalist and cultural manager. She has a degree in Literature from the Universidad del Salvador, Argentina, and studied English Literature at the University of Manchester and a postgraduate degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. As a cultural manager, she created and directed several prestigious literary programmes for different cultural institutions. She contributes literary articles to the cultural supplement of the Spanish newspapers La Nación, Clarín and El Periódico de España.

“La vida en miniatura” is featured in both El País’s list of the 25 most anticipated books for February 2024 and El Mundo’s selection of the best reads for early 2024.

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Life in Miniature

After her first novel A House Full of People Mariana Sández returns with a beautiful and accurate novel about independence, belonging and a sense of duty, in which she once again demonstrates her ability to unravel the complex texture of human psychology. Dorothea Dodds has been living unnoticed for 59 years. In the shadow of an absent and troubled brother, it is she who takes care of her parents. She is daughter, secretary, housewife and invisible glue that holds everything together. She is, without a doubt, the ideal person that anyone would want to leave in charge of their house during the summer holidays. And one fine day, when she needs to get away from it all, that’s exactly what she decides to do. With the help of her English cousin Mary Lebone, Dorothea gets a job looking after houses and pets across the English countryside, and in these glimpses into other people’s lives she finds clues to her own. In prose that follows in the footsteps of Natalia Ginzburg and Iris Murdoch, Life in Miniature (“La vida en miniatura”) is a travel book where the road is travelled on the inside: Dorothea crosses the English countryside as she retraces key episodes of her past and learns to live in her present. With a writing that is both exquisite and natural, in which tenderness and humour shine through, Mariana Sández offers us a social satire in which the most biting and the most beautiful aspects of life merge.

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A House Full of People

A House Full of People (“Una casa llena de gente”) delves into the private and common spaces of a small building and the people who inhabit it, in order to reconstruct a memory. With subtle humour, intelligent suspense and delightful writing, the novel exposes both human weaknesses and the wounds caused by generational clashes. Literature is neither more nor less than a house full of people, or at least it is for Leila Ross, a translator and frustrated writer for whom time is organised in and for books. However, her life is rather more complex than that: she has to cope with the demands of the household and a very demanding mother, the fearsome Granny, proudly English by birth, pragmatic and judgmental. And then there is the house, the castello where the whole family will live, and which will shape a plot that progresses through the unspoken, the suggested, the contrast between points of view, humour and mystery. Predicting her own death, Leila bequeaths to her daughter Charo her diaries and a large collection of family photographs and films, as well as a list of instructions telling her what to do with them. Charo will gradually rediscover a new side of her mother, which until then had remained hidden.

Quotes

A House Full of People

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Some Normal Families

In Some Normal Families (“Algunas Familias Normales”), one could say that the characters in these stories are, for the most part, “ordinary people.” Neighbours in a condominium, office colleagues, two inseparable elderly sisters, an unemployed executive, a taxi driver who hasn’t managed to start a family… People with desires, pettiness, and fears that we can all recognize in ourselves or in those around us. But the art of these stories is as simple as it is complex: to look at the usual and ordinary a little more closely, to shift the gaze slightly to the sides, to find there that subtle deformity which opens the door to fascinating worlds, as personal as they are strange, worlds that we sometimes don’t even suspect exist or simply insist on not seeing, and which confirm to us that no one is normal up close. After reading this book, it is impossible not to see stories in every person we encounter. Mariana Sández creates literature and inevitably infects those who read it.

Quotes

Some Normal Families

RIGHTS

NOVELS
Life in Miniature (“La Vida en Miniatura”)
Madrid: Editorial Impedimenta (forthcoming February 2024), 192 p.
English sample translation by Kit Maude available

A House of People (“Una Casa Llena de Gente“)
Buenos Aires: Compañía Naviera Ilimitada editores 2019, 257 p.
English sample translation by Kit Maude available
Russia: Arkadia · Spain: Editorial Impedimenta 2022

SHORT STORIES
Some Normal Families (“Algunas Familias Normales”)
Buenos Aires: Compañía Naviera Ilimitada editores 2020, 168 p.
Brazil: Arte e Letra 2023 · Greece: World Books 2023
Containing two stories translated by Kit Maude:
The Requena Sisters (“Las hermanas Requena”): Latin American Literature Today 2020
Too Much Sky (“Para que no sobre tanto cielo”): Exacting Clam 2022

ESSAYS
The cinema of Manuel. A journey through the work of Manuel Antín (“El cine de Manuel. Un recorrido sobre la obra de Manuel Antín”)
Buenos Aires: Capital Intelectual 2010, 187 p.