Jorge Soruco writes for La Razon:
“It is surprising that someone should notice Bolivian literature, almost invisible”
Wilmer Urrelo – Bolivian writer won the Anna Seghers Literature Award 2012 which is given annually to a Latin American author and another German. The award is endowed with more than $10 thousand and will be delivered on November 17, in the German city of Mainz. Urrelo was recognized for his work on the novel ‘Speak to the dogs’, published by Santillana in 2011.
– What this prize represents for your career?
– The truth is that even I do not believe 100% that is real. When I received the communication, about 20 days ago, I mistrusted the subject, it was very rare. It was surprising and made a claim to Santillana by having submitted the novel for an award and not letting me know about it. But it was not. A later statement informed me that a work is nominated for the Anna Seghers. Winning the award is an incentive. To some extent, it tells you that you are not going in the wrong direction. Now, as a projection, I think that it is too early to talk about that. I know that there are publishers interested in publishing my book in other countries.
– Why the mistrust?
– It is surprising that someone with whom I never had contact, will look at the Bolivian literature, which is unknown, invisible at times.
– What was the evaluation of the jury of the award?
– Catalina Deloglu release indicates that she emphasized the work and the themes of the novel. Another thing that surprised me is that Deloglu read all my work and mentioned it in the text.
– How would you define literature?
– I think that it is still starting. They are quite eclectic novels, especially the latter. It is not only a police work, I hang up from various genres and I’m mixing, especially in “Speak to the dogs”.
– What genres?
– A bit of mystery, something police and has aspects of the ‘intimate’ novel gender, increasingly common.
– In what will you invest the award?
– In a new novel, but do not think to start writing immediately.
– Why not?
– “Speak to the dogs” was a novel that demanded much from me, especially on the technical side. The novel has many simultaneous temporary jumps and many voices. It also required much research. Work was very stressful.
– Why did you choose the Chaco War as a background?
– Because there is still much to tell. More than the war itself, in “Speak to the dogs”, there is more talk of what happened after the conflict. It would seem that our grandparents returned from the battlefield without any problem. But that is not true. An armed conflict is a traumatic event that leaves consequences. But all of that was hidden under the carpet. That’s what I wanted to show with the novel, as well as reveal a new era.
Name: Wilmer Urrelo
Born: July 26, 1975
Job: Writer and editor
Wilmer Urrelo grew up with violence and the police. The La Paz author acknowledged that part of his influence comes from the films class B, of action and of the classic novels of the genre. His first works were police stories. His novel Black World (2000) won the First Novel New Millennium Award. With Murderous Ghosts (2007) won the National Award for Novel.
I welcome Wilmer Urrelo to The Hall of Bolivian Fame!