Project Description

Max Aub Short Story Prize 1994Susana Medina

UK / Spain

Susana Medina was born in Hampshire in 1966, and brought up in Valencia, Spain. She holds a PhD in Spanish-Latin American Literature, a Masters in Hispanic Studies from Birkbeck College, London and a degree in Italian and History of Art from University College London. She has been awarded the Max Aub International Short Story Prize and received a writing grant from the Arts Council of England for SPINNING DAYS OF NIGHT. Her story OESTROGEN was published in Best European Fiction, 2014. PHILOSOPHICAL TOYS was selected twice by critics in Best Books 2015: Top Ten Reads, 3:AM Magazine.

Medina´s fiction has received accolades from The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, The National, El País, as well as from Will Self and Deborah Levy. Her work has been published in The White Review, PEN, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, and others. In 2012 she won the Farrago Zoo Awards, Best Performance Working in English & Another Language.

She publishes on literature, art, cinema and photography, has curated various well-received international art shows in derelict spaces, and has exhibited at Tate Modern. Her short movies ‘Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys’ and ‘Leather-bound Stories’ (co-directed with Derek Ogbourne) were shown at various galleries and museums in London, and are available on Vimeo.

Medina is also a climate activist, taking action and appearing on stages for Extinction Rebellion UK, including the legendary Pink boat at Oxford Circus, Edinburgh Fringe and Writers Rebel’s 40 Top Writers Marathon.

Please also visit the author’s website: >

Susana Medina© Derek Ogbourne


Spinning Days of Night

In one line, Spinning Days of Night can be summarised thus: Young woman goes deaf overnight.

Luminous, shattering, and playful, Spinning Days of Night plunges the reader into the maelstrom of a limit experience as the main character is suddenly struck by a mysterious illness which traps her in a silent film.
Lily Liliana, a young multimedia artist, suddenly experiences a variety of maladies which soon lead to total loss of hearing, a ground zero experience. Surrounded by zesty and supportive characters, especially her partner Yann, this abrupt change leads to a series of transformations and insights, which address the themes of chance, illness, sound, silence, loss, love, friendship, metamorphosis, the senses (including those in animalia), tinnitus, disability, environmental triggers to illness and climate breakdown. If there is tragicomedy, there is also indictment and lament about the ills which plague our society, as Lily Liliana, who’s often referred to as the future bionic woman, starts writing notes and dropping them in a cardboard box named ‘The Museum of Pain,’ which will provide the basis for the novel. An SF party to celebrate her successful cochlear implant, a murder, new characters, events and adventures are all part of her new sonic world as she sets out to rebuild her life transformed by mourning, technology, bionics, comics, the internet and the plight of the planet.

Though not strictly autobiographical, Spinning Days of Night draws on Susana Medina´s own experience, who was struck with sudden hearing loss onset, due to an extremely rare autoimmune condition.


Spinning Days of Night


Philosophical Toys

In her debut novel Philosophical Toys, Susana Medina achieves a rare feat: with a unique voice, she combines enjoyable philosophical deliberations with an appealing story.

Nina loses her mother when she is only six years old and grows up with her father in Almería. Wanting to become an artist, she goes to London, the arts metropolis. When her father starts to suffer from Alzheimer’s and moves into a nursing home, Nina clears out the attic in order to sell the house – and makes a surprising discovery: 95 pairs of her mother’s shoes, each one carefully packed away in its shoe box. Who was this woman? Was she really the dazzling actress Nina believed her to be? What feelings did her early death provoke in her father? And what is the meaning of all these shoes? Nina engages herself in the topic of fetishism, gaining astounding insight. In her relationship with her father, his illness and the experience of loss, she questions the independent existence of objects and the meaning they have for our lives.

Medina’s thoughts meander, alter, deviate, and come back again to their point of origin. With her clever, laid-back, witty perspective, she takes the reader on an entertaining stroll where there is much to discover.


Philosophical Toys


Spinning Days of Night
London: Manuscript, 136,016 words

Philosophical Toys
Champaign/London/Dublin: Dalkey Archive Press 2015, 256 p.
Argentina: Planeta 2016
Spain: Pen International Magazine 2010 (excerpt)

Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys (24 min. film)
Dir. Susana Medina
film available on Vimeo

Leather-bound Stories
shown at various galleries and The Freud Museum, London
film available on Vimeo

Red Tales Cuentos rojos
(bilingual edition, Spanish-English)
Valencia: Araña editorial 2012

Cuentos Rojos, Red Tales, Contes Rouges
(Trilingual publication)
London: Cult Fictions 2005

Castellón: 1995
Short Prose Collection Max Aub
International Short Story Award Max Aub

Poem 66
Colorado: Goodmorning Menagerie: A Chapbook press 2018
The runner-up in Good Morning Menagerie International Translation Award

Souvenirs del Accidente
(poems, ballads and aphorisms)
Editorial Germanía 2004

We’ll Never Have Paris
Repeater Books 2019
(Poem “Petit Vilaine“)

Streets Where to Walk is to Embark: Spanish poets in London 1811 – 2018
Shearsman Books 2019
(Poem “Fragment of Emotional Map”)

London: Dalkey Archive Press 2014
Featured in Best European Fiction 2014

City Sickness (The Bionic Woman’s Walk)
London, New York, Paris: Social Disease 2007

La primera vez (Donde las mariposas revoletean)
Madrid: Santillana/ Aguilar 2000, pp. 147-64

Trafalgar Sq Rhapsody
Writers Rebel, October 2020

Dear Angelus Novus
3: AM Magazine, April 2019

Susana Medina: Object Lessons
Multi-media story in collaboration with Paul Louis Archer,
El País in English, 5 September 2016

The Cloning Passion, A Sort of Footnote
(Philosophical Toys excerpt)
3: AM Magazine, July 2015

The Penis Nightmare
(Philosophical Toys excerpt)
The Review of Contemporary Fiction 2013

Red Tales Cuentos Rojos
Excerpt, Writers’ Hub 2013
Excerpt, Beat the Dust 2013
Excerpt, The Space of the Tangible Hallucination 2013

Spinning Days of Night
Excerpt, The White Review, June 2012

Suddenly Berlin in London
Dialogue Books 2012

El Europeo (Ella)
Madrid 1994, pp. 44-7.