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Raquel Martínez-Gómez

Portrait of Raquel Martínez-Gómez

Raquel Martinez-Gomez est née à La Mancha en 1973,  dans la province de Albacete. Elle possède un Doctorat en sciences de la communication  de l’Université Complutense de Madrid, option Relations internationales.

Ses nouvelles et sa poésie ont été très bien reçues par les critiques et elle a terminé un nouveau roman The Hollow of Memory. Elle réside actuellement à Montevideo (Uruguay), où elle concilie  son métier d’écrivain avec son travail spécialisé dans la coopération et le développement. Avant cela elle a vécu au Mexique ou elle a travaillé sur sa thèse de doctorat et donné des cours à l’Institut Technologique de Monterrey.

Winning Book

Sombras de unicornio (Shadows of the unicorn)

Claudia est une journaliste née à Oviedo mais qui a grandi en Argentine. Elle revient en Espagne dans l’espoir de recommencer sa vie et le premier emploi qu’elle trouve est dans un bar à cocktails à Madrid, La Licorne Elle y rencontre Edgar qui essaye également d’échapper à un passé traumatisant mais comme Claudia, il découvre vite que c’est impossible de recommencer à zéro. Claudia et Edgar se retrouvent dans un espace incertain où se mélangent l’imagination et les désirs et ils voyagent entre ce qu’ils aimeraient bien être et ce qu’ils sont vraiment. Une rencontre avec une licorne leur donne l’opportunité de se retrouver – une opportunité qui est tout aussi imprévue que magnifique. Sombras de unicornio représente une invitation à nous rapprocher de nous mêmes et nous envoler sans jamais lever les pieds du sol.

Cover of Sombras de unicornio

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  • Albania: Toena
  • Bulgaria: Prozoretz Publishing House
  • Croatia: Naklada Ljevak
  • Latvia: Ltd J.L.V
  • Serbia: Dereta
  • Slovenia: Ucila


Translated by Peter Bush


A black dune and its hazy outlines remained motionless in the centre of the city, embraced by precarious housing on one side and a residential estate on the other. Edgar often forgot it existed and when he climbed the crag of the Noas to contemplate the horizon, he preferred to imagine there was an empty void. But despite all his efforts to dodge it, the black hump suddenly reappeared when he turned a corner or decided which street to go down. His inner tension would deepen and he’d think about making his escape. For years people had been collecting samples of earth from different places, near to and far from the black dune, to check the levels of lead. That was the consequence of a long struggle waged by a number of local organisations against the municipal council’s silence and the wholesale suborning of individual consciences. But most people didn’t know what was happening and very few thought of moving. Joggers could make out the red-lettered name of the company that owned the industrial site when they tried to keep fit on the oldest residential estates. Then they returned home, shut their windows tight and told the cleaner to scrub the floor again and, after taking a bubble bath, they’d sit in the garden and read the centre pages of El Siglo, proud to perform their social duty by bringing themselves up to speed on the latest betrothals between high falutin’ families. But a few streets further down, much closer to the black dune, the newspapers were never the ones delivered that day and read in any garden; and people couldn’t boast how smart they looked in the photos. In the western districts newspaper pages stood in for doors and windows and the earth, that same earth on which they slept, was crystallising the blood of their children as the paper turned darker and darker. Grey-suited gentlemen wearing plastic gloves, sent by the firm responsible for the black dune, had once knocked on their doors in order to collect lead samples. The area was filled with cleaning machines that sucked up the earth and yellow-suited men who substituted cardboard for newspaper. That, alongside the promise of milk for sick children, was enough to quieten the unrest. The same dust impregnated everything within a fortnight. The youngest children, unaware of the danger they ran, built toys in their imaginations they would never own on that poisoned land. The protests resumed and the consultants for the black dune, that was also the country’s largest metal processing plant, argued they had got there first, that the poor were squatting on municipal land. The name of the company’s owner, who lived a thousand kilometres away, appeared every year in the magazine that published the list of the richest men on the planet. The legend of the black dune kept expanding over the patina of silences.

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