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Guadalupe Nettel

Guadalupe Nettel Guadalupe Nettel[1†]

Guadalupe Nettel, born in 1973 in Mexico City, is a celebrated Mexican writer. Living between Mexico and France, her work has been translated into over twenty languages. Her notable works include "The Guest" (El Huésped, 2006) and "Still Born" (La Hija Única, 2020). Nettel has contributed to prestigious publications like The New York Times and El País. She has won numerous awards, including the Herralde Prize and the Anna Seghers Prize. Known for her sharp observations and deep insights, Nettel's writing delves into themes of love, perversity, and human relationships[1†][2†][3†].

Early Years and Education

Guadalupe Nettel was born in 1973 in Mexico City[1†]. She spent part of her childhood in the south of France[1†][4†][2†]. From a young age, she suffered from eye problems due to a congenital condition in one of her eyes, probably Peters’ syndrome[1†]. This condition made her a victim of bullying, a fact that, according to Nettel, was one of the reasons that led her to take refuge in books and start writing[1†].

Nettel obtained a PhD in linguistics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris[1†]. Her early education and experiences significantly influenced her writing style and themes, which often explore the complexities of human relationships and the human condition[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Guadalupe Nettel’s career as a writer has been marked by significant achievements and contributions to the literary world. She has published four novels, including “The Guest” (2006), “The Body Where I Was Born” (2011), “After the Winter” (2014), and “Still Born” (2020)[1†]. She has also written two collections of short stories, “Bezoar” (2008) and “Natural Histories” (2013)[1†][2†].

Nettel’s work has been translated into more than 17 languages[1†], and she has been a contributor to various prestigious publications such as Granta, The White Review, El País, The New York Times, La Repubblica, and La Stampa[1†]. She is the editor of the Revista de la Universidad de México, the oldest cultural magazine in Mexico[1†].

Her collection of short stories “El matrimonio de los peces rojos” won the Premio Internacional de Narrativa Breve Ribera del Duero[1†] and has since been translated into English under the title “Natural Histories”. She won the Premio Herralde in 2014 for her novel “After the Winter” (Después del invierno)[1†]. In 2007, she was named as one of the Bogotá 39, a list of the most promising young Latin American writers under the age of thirty-nine announced at the Hay Festival Bogota[1†].

In 2023, she was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize for her work "Still Born"[1†][5†][1†]. Her other awards include the Premio Cálamo (2020), the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize (2021), and the Borchard Foundation Literary Fellowship (2021, 2022, 2023)[1†].

First Publication of Her Main Works

Guadalupe Nettel’s literary journey began with the publication of her first novel, “The Guest” (El Huésped), in 2006[1†][2†].

Here is a list of her main works along with the year of first publication:

Analysis and Evaluation

Guadalupe Nettel’s work is characterized by its exploration of the human condition, often through the lens of her own experiences[6†][7†]. Her writing is celebrated for its depth, insight, and the unique perspective it offers on life’s complexities[6†][7†].

In her collection of short stories, “Natural Histories”, Nettel places humans under the microscope and examines them at their most fragile and desperate[6†][7†]. As her protagonists undergo emotional stress, we observe them crack under pressure and give into their baser instincts[6†][7†]. This exploration of the human psyche and the ease with which these characters revert to their baser instincts sets the book on its edge[6†][7†].

Nettel’s novel, “The Body Where I Was Born”, exhibits similar concerns and degenerative playfulness[6†]. On the surface, the novel is less surreal than the collection, certainly more informed by realism[6†]. However, the intimacy it forces on the reader by concealing the adult narrator disturbs the distance between reader and author, forcing the reader into the girl’s vulnerable body[6†][8†].

Nettel’s strategy yields rich rewards. Her language, surely the product of a childhood of linguistic and cultural mobility, toes the line between the sympathetic and relatable and the radically bizarre[6†]. The undercurrent of globalization permeates her texts, so it’s only appropriate her prose mirrors such proliferation[6†].

Nettel has stated that people often go about trying to conceal what they consider their defects and weak points, and bend over backwards to show that they’re someone else, when in reality, in these particular traits lies their true beauty[9†]. This idea is elaborated on in various texts of hers[6†][9†].

Personal Life

Guadalupe Nettel was born in Mexico City and spent part of her childhood in the south of France[1†]. From a young age, she suffered from eye problems due to a congenital condition in one of her eyes, probably Peters’ syndrome[1†][10†]. She was consequently a victim of bullying, a fact that, according to Nettel, was one of the reasons that led her to take refuge in books and start writing[1†][10†].

Nettel currently resides in Mexico City[1†][3†]. She has spoken about the challenges and demands that weigh on mothers, and through her work, she seeks to challenge patriarchal ideas of motherhood and affirm female choices[1†][5†]. Her novel “Still Born” is a testament to this, as it was inspired by the story of a friend and her daughter, born with a neurological condition[1†][5†]. Through this work, Nettel wanted to show that it is possible to transform a painful experience into a meaningful one[1†][5†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Guadalupe Nettel’s work has left a significant impact on contemporary literature. Her unique narrative discourse, which often explores the grotesque and the human condition, has been recognized for its audacity and originality[2†]. She has been lauded for her ability to transform painful experiences into meaningful narratives, offering readers a profound exploration of humanity in all its fragility and bravery[2†][9†].

Nettel’s work has been translated into more than seventeen languages, demonstrating her global reach[2†][1†]. Her novels and short stories have won prestigious awards such as the Premio de Narrativa Breve Ribera del Duero and the Premio Herralde[2†][1†]. In 2007, she was named one of the Bogotá 39, a list of the most promising young Latin American writers under the age of thirty-nine[2†][1†].

Beyond her own writing, Nettel has contributed to the literary community in various ways. She has written for numerous magazines and publications, and since 2017, she has served as the editor of the Revista de la Universidad de México, the oldest cultural magazine in Mexico[2†][1†].

Nettel’s legacy is not just in her published works but also in her influence on readers and writers alike. Her courage to confront and explore the complexities of the human condition through her writing continues to inspire and challenge the literary world[2†].

Early Years and Education

Guadalupe Nettel was born in Mexico City in 1973[1†]. She spent part of her childhood in the south of France[1†][4†][2†]. From a young age, she suffered from eye problems due to a congenital condition in one of her eyes, probably Peters’ syndrome[1†]. This condition made her a victim of bullying, a fact that, according to Nettel, was one of the reasons that led her to take refuge in books and start writing[1†].

Nettel obtained a PhD in linguistics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris[1†]. Her early experiences, both in Mexico and France, and her academic background have significantly influenced her writing style and themes[1†][4†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Guadalupe Nettel [website] - link
  2. Guadalupe Nettel - Home [website] - link
  3. The Booker Prizes - Guadalupe Nettel: Shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023 [website] - link
  4. The Booker Prizes - Reading guide: Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey [website] - link
  5. The Booker Prizes - Guadalupe Nettel interview: 'Many demands weigh on mothers' [website] - link
  6. Music & Literature - Guadalupe Nettel's Natural Histories & The Body Where I Was Born [website] - link
  7. Words Without Borders - Guadalupe Nettel's "Natural Histories" [website] - link
  8. Indent Literary Agency - El cuerpo en que nací [website] - link
  9. Words Without Borders - Private Acts: An Interview with Guadalupe Nettel [website] - link
  10. Translating Women - Interview with Guadalupe Nettel, author of Bezoar and Other Unsettling Stories [website] - link
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