Eduardo Antonio Parra, born in León in Mexico in 1965, grew up in the northern border town of Nuevo Laredo. He studied Hispanic Studies at the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, where he still lives. Before embarking on a career as a writer he tried out various jobs, including sales promoter for credit cards, scrap merchant, screenplay writer, journalist, teacher of literature, and newspaper editor for police coverage. These days, Parra writes regularly for various newspapers and magazines in Chile and Mexico.
Parra is one of the seminal writers of the so-called »literatura norteña«. This »literature of the north« is defined not only by its landscape, climate and proximity to the USA, but is further characterized by a singular use of language which experiments with tone, rhythm and tempo. Parra’s central themes include violence and the erotic. His clear, expressive and authoritative prose has a distinctive voice.
Parra was honoured with various regional awards for his stories. His first book, the collection »El río, el pozo y otras fronteras« (t: The river, the fountain and other borders), was published in 1994. This was followed by two further collections of stories, »Los límites de la noche« (1996; t: The borders of the night) and »Tierra de nadie« (1999; Eng. »No Man’s Land«, 2004), in which Parra describes people whose violent tendencies become especially apparent in borderline situations. The setting for the story is the no man’s land of the US-Mexican border, which is described as an almost surreal environment, in which the fantastic mingles with the mundane.
In 2000 Parra won the Premio Juan Rulfo in the category »short story« for his »Nadie los vio salir« (2001; t: No one saw them leaving). Once again the setting is the borderlands, defined by violence, drugs and alcohol. When a couple from elsewhere appear in a bar on the border, their seductive behaviour releases a sup presse d lust in the locals, which transports them in an erotic, aggressive trance. Parra’s first novel, »Nostalgia de la sombra« (2002; t: Desire for the shadow), deals with a contract killer, whose first victim lives in, of all places, the small town where the protagonist himself once lived a normal life, and where his wife and children still live. Parra’s most recent publication was the story collection »Parábolas del silencio« (2006; t: Parables of silence).
Stories by him have been translated into English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Finnish, Chinese and German. The author has received numerous grants, including one from the Centro de Escritores de Nuevo León, two from the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes de México (FONCA) – for short fiction and novels – and from the Guggenheim Foundation. He currently holds a scholarship awarded by Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte.
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