Three months after winning the million euros of the Planet Award with Far from Louisiana, Luz Gabas he feels excited when he sees his book that he has presented this weekend in Alicante. With it, he delves into the history of the American State that for four decades belonged to Spain and portrays the Mississippi with the entire population around it. That is why she claims the right to writing about others without it being considered cultural appropriationism: “Let’s not cancel ourselves.”
And that has been done extensively throughout the 739 pages of the volume with the thread of the story of love between Ishcate, the son of the Kaskaskia Indian tribe, and Suzette, a young Creole in New Orleans. He has recreated this entire universe with the ambition of being a historical fresco from the mountains of Benasque, the small town in the Aragonese Pyrenees where he lives.
“When they begin to say that this is cultural appropriation,” he reasons from the editorial office of El Español before going through the Maestral’s literary evenings, “culture is above everything: ideology, politics.” That is why he emphasizes on this debate that he is “very concerned” that “for me, it has always been the superior thing. It is the food of the soul. Are they going to tell me what I can eat from that manna? This can not be. Let’s not cancel ourselves. If one wants to write about a psychopath, isn’t he going to be able to write, if he isn’t?”
The vehemence with which he reasons about this debate represents the identification with which he approaches each project. And the work behind each of the five novels she has published. “In each book there is a fragment, a stage, a moment, it’s four years in my life,” she says. Because, when he sees the copy he goes further “and I remember when I wrote it, the effort, what it cost me”, what is that “little piece of my life in each book”.
To this we must add that all this is put to the test, in this case twice: convincing the jury of the Planeta Award and the public that they have to buy it to make it one of the best-selling titles of the year. “When it ends Far from Louisiana I had that feeling, that feeling that I had something big”, he points out. Although he assures that this is not a guarantee because it is not possible to know “if it will fit the taste of the juryof what the Planeta Prize intends that year”.
So launching into a project that requires two to four years of your life “I want to be very motivated and very excited”. And so much has happened to her in her great success palm trees in the snow like in return to your skin, like fire on ice Y The beat of the earth. Each one with a documentation to prepare because “I want to learn about a specific topic”.
And in Far from Louisiana the challenge was that everything had to be bigger. “It is an ambitious novel in terms of characters, in terms of settingsregarding the subject”, he explains. And with which he wants to portray those four decades in which Spain decided at the end of the 18th century what had to be an extensive territory that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. “It’s 40 years very intense,” he says.
Where the thread of the love story is entangled with many elements so that the novel continues to be considered historical and has action even though she does not consider it adventure. What happens, she reasons, is that going back in time to that time and territory implies being aware that “life was an adventure”.
Another much closer that appreciates that it is done from Alicante is to promote the literary evenings of the Maestral. “Look, we writers go around, but there are things that stay in your head“, he says with illusion in his eyes, “the dinner of the Master of like fire on icemy third novel, was gorgeous.”
That meeting “dand so many ingenious souls” celebrates it in particular because it checks the reception that his books have. And thus he feels “more secure because the reader has understood what I wanted to say: that mixture of History with capital letters in the daily history of the characters, the effort, life… which is not a lesson”. Therefore, returning to the approach of approaching it from the outside, he emphasizes his demand to work without the ties of the culture of cancellation. “Liberty. That is what I want. there has to be freedom. Freedom to write and to read.
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