It may not sell well as sex, (the theme of Granta‘s 110th issue earlier this year), but Granta‘s newest offering, “The best of young Spanish-language novelists,” looks even more intriguing. Spanish, of course, has an ancient and rich literary heritage, but it’s as interesting for what is happening to it today; how it is developing and transforming, particularly with the growth of Hispanic cultures in different parts of the US. Accordingly, Granta has picked out 22 Spanish language “stars of the future” and given them prominence not only in their new issue (published today), but in a series of events over the next week which will explore the limits of the language.
It’s a simple but important point: literature is about so much more than the act of reading. It has to be conversation. And on Granta’s website, accompanying this month’s issue, you find just this: authors talking about their influences, the writer’s role in public life, and responses to their stories by previous “best young novelists.” You also find responses to this month’s writers from Adam Thirwell, Christopher Coake, Ben Rice and Esther Freud. And across London next week, the events accompanying the new issue range from discussions on how to translate culture from Spanish to English, the meaning of the Nobel prize for Peruvian literature, and a “Night of Wine and Words” in which writers will pair their readings with new wines from Spain and Argentina.