To celebrate World Book Day on April 23rd, we asked several Spanish authors to tell us who are the British writers who have most inspired them, while also finding out which works written by Spanish authors would some of their British peers recommend.
You can watch the videos in which they share their recommendations on our Facebook channel by clicking here. And below is a reminder of their suggestions if you decide to take them up on their advice:
We talked with the British novelist Caroline Brothers about the ironic and astute vision displayed by the Madrid writer Mercedes Cebrián in her poem “Brexit”, included in her third collection of poems “Malgastar”.
The winner of the latest edition of the Herralde Novel Prize Luisgé Martín told us about the three novels that he considers essential reading by the great British author Ian McEwan: “Enduring Love”*, “On Chesil Beach”* and “The Children Act”.
The award-winning British writer of crime fiction for adults and young readers Emily Barr* explained how she had been fascinated by the intrigues and choral cast of characters portrayed by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade in her novel “Las Inviernas” set in 1950’s rural Galicia.
We were also delighted to gather together the recommendations made by some of the writers included in the list of the best and most promising storytellers in Spanish under 35, published in April by the prestigious British literary magazine Granta.
You can listen to the reasons why the co-founder of the Spanish edition of the magazine, editor, writer and teacher Valerie Miles, thinks we must read two great contemporary British writers: the award-winning novelist and poet A.S. Byatt as well as author, playwright, scholar, and journalist Ali Smith.
For their part, the authors included in Granta's selection told us about the British writers who have made the most impact on them:
David Aliaga (L’Hospitalet, 1989) explains how important the legacy of the great romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was from him, especially the work “Prometheus Unbound”.
Munir Hachemi (Madrid, 1989) cites several British classics from Borges' anti-canon, among them Thomas de Quincey and his “Confessions of an English Opium-Eater"* or “Lear Rey & Mendigo”, Nicanor Parra’s translation of Shakespeare's "King Lear", along with the work of Irish-based English poet Matthew Geden
The youngest writer on Granta's list, Irene Reyes-Noguerol (Seville 1997), recommends four works that she considers essential in the history of British literature: "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë, “Brideshead Revisited” by Evelyn Waugh, “Brave New World" by Aldoux Huxley and George Orwell’s "1984”*.
Cristina Morales (Granada 1985) told us who are her four favourite British writers from the 16th century to the present day: Bernardine Evaristo* , Thomas Hobbes, Doris Lessing and Irvine Welsh.
There are many British authors who have made their mark on Alejandro Morellón (Madrid, 1985), among them J. R. R. Tolkien, Mary Shelley, William Golding, Iain Sinclair, Anthony Burgess, Oscar Wilde, TS Elliot or Virginia Woolf.
The journalist and crime writer Julio César Cano recommends we read "Jane Austen at Home" by Lucy Worsley to acquire a different vision of the great writer; what is considered by many to be the greatest British novel of all time, Mary Shelley’s "Frankestein"*; and "Lord Edgware Dies" by the great Agatha Christie.
Jessica Andrews, one of the UK's latest literary revelations with the publication of her first novel "Salt Water" has told us how and why "Brother in Ice" , the first novel by visual artist and writer Alicia Kopf (winner of the Documenta 2015, Llibreter 2016, Critical Eye of Radio Nacional de España and Cálamo Otra Mirada Awards) made such an impact on her.
And to bring this round of fabulous recommendations to a close we hear from the novelist, screenwriter and winner of the 1998 Planeta Prize Carmen Posadas, who shares with us what she considers to be some of the most outstanding titles in British literature: "Animal Farm"* by George Orwell, Emily Brontë’s "Wuthering Heights"* and "Bleak House"*, by Charles Dickens.
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´* Available free of charge only to members of the British Council Digital Library