Elisa Victoria: “We can all stray” | Entertainment | The USA Print

Elisa Victoria: "We can all stray"

Something happened in 1989 that obsesses Renata. The people around her think that she is a freak. She shuts herself up at home, is often absent and since she went on television she says she is unable to return to work. But there is an explanation for not getting out of the loop and going back again and again to that year in which she and Eusebio – who died in rare circumstances – met every afternoon. The writer Elisa Victoria (Seville, 1985) invites readers to discover what happened in her new book, otaberra (Blackie Books), one of the most anticipated of the literary rentrée and that confirms her as one of the most outstanding voices of her generation.

What the author does advance to The vanguard, by video call from Seville, are two things. The first, that the town of Otaberra, “that place from which you never leave”, does not exist, and “invites everyone to think about their own location”. The second, that “Renata is guilty. A guilt that hurts her and accompanies her for years and that disrupts the path that she had established. And although we can all sometimes stray, there are people who are not capable of coping, as is the case.

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Renata is weighed down with guilt. A guilt that hurts and accompanies him for years ”

Elisa Victoriawriter

In addition to guilt, the book has a lot of love and shame. Eusebio dares to confess his feelings to his best friend, but the rejection is immediate. She argues without delay: how are they going to be together if the whole town knows that he is a “faggot”. He replies: “Maybe I’m not if I like you.” But it all ends with “I really like how you are but I don’t want your moves to splash me, I can’t risk more than I already do.”

“I didn’t want to label any character as being bisexual outright because then it might not look any further. We are all more than a sexual orientation. However, I do like to talk about it naturally. I think that there is very little literary representation and that, sometimes, many people find it difficult to understand that place even today. It’s not the main theme of the novel, but I was very interested in dealing with it, especially at the time the story takes place, when everything was more complicated. I wanted to pay homage to those people who broke the mold”.

I wanted to pay homage to those people who broke the mold”

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Elisa Victoria

On the other hand, Elisa Victoria acknowledges that “I had wanted to write about the concept of the passage of time for a long time and that was boosted by the loss of a couple of friends. I put both things together with personal obsessions until I reached a total fiction. My lines have nothing to do with anything that has happened to me, although it is true that the texts are always impregnated by the authors in one way or another, even if it is for the interest of dealing with certain topics or for aesthetics ”, she confesses.

Perhaps that is why the text imbibes many of the references that have inspired him when writing, such as “the work of the filmmaker Iván Zulueta, the soundtrack by Max Cooper or the audacity with the formats and rhythms in which stories of Kelly Link”, which encouraged him to create this literary puzzle. “The way of narrating arose intuitively. The truth is that I had a lot of fun”.

The transition from one vital period to another has always interested me”

Elisa Victoriawriter

The passage to adult life is present from minute one in reading. This is a recurring theme in the author’s work. In oldvoice, Marina, 9 years old, was still playing with Chabel dolls but she was already looking at magazines for adults. In The gospel, Lali often observed adulthood, but she did it like someone looking at Mars. And in the case of Otaberra, it is an event that makes Renata become an adult overnight.

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“The transition from one vital period to another has always interested me. There are stages that have their drama and their humor, and that is why they are quite intense. I like to find out why ”, concludes the writer, who does not rule out continuing to express her concern in future novels.