Liliana Bodoc

Portrait Liliana Bodoc
© Michel Marcú

Liliana Bodoc was born in Santa Fe, Argentina in 1958 and grew up in Mendoza. She studied modern literature at the Universidad Nacional in Cuyo. She has been counted, since her well-received début “La saga de los Confines. Los días del Venado” (2000; t: The saga of the frontiers. The days of the deer), the first of a trilogy, among the most important new voices of the literature of the fantastic in Spanish. 70,000 copies were sold in Argentina alone and the book will soon appear in several European countries. Aside from this fantasy epic, Bodoc has also published plays, texts for very young readers, and short stories and novels for children and young adults.

In enchanting and dark images, “La saga de los Confines” tells the story of a mythical battle in the distant past. When strange boats set sail with vague intentions, the brotherhood of free air and the creatures of the fertile countries form the deer alliance, among them the Husihuilke warrior Dulkancellin and Cucub of Zitzahay. Supported by the earth magician Kupuka, they go to war against Misáianes, son of Eternal Hatred, and his army of the old lands. The author spins her intoxicating tale of the battle for conquest, survival and freedom – in which the boundaries between good and evil blur and at whose end stands the decline of an age – with interwoven historical and fantastical narrative elements set against the backdrop of the Aztec, Maya and Mapuche cultures. On comparisons of her work with J.R.R. Tolkien, the author replies, “Tolkien’s epic is anchored in an opposite reality; it is a truly European epic, Eurocentric, monarchist. His work and mine embody entirely different cosmic visions: Tolkien writes from the point of view of the powerful, I write from the point of view of the ‘abandoned’.” Bodoc captivates as a haunting storyteller who masterfully succeeds in merging collective experiences such as repression and war with the intimate and private lives of her protagonists. In bringing attention to their fears and doubts she consciously distances herself from the classical archetypes of the fantasy epic and breaks with models of the genre. This is one reason why the magazine “Página/12” stated that “her novels are probably the best books ever written in Spanish in the genre of the fantasy epic”.

Liliana Bodoc recently published “Memorias impuras. Los padres” (2007; t: Impure memories. Parents), the first volume of a two-part novel. Among the distinctions received for “Los días del Venado” were the Premio Feria de Buenos Aires (2000) and inclusion in the IBBY Honour List (2002). The first part of the “Confines” saga and the sequel “Los días del Sombra” (2006; t: The days of the shadow) were furthermore awarded the Premio Calidoscopio (2003) by the Banco del Libro de Venezuela. Liliana Bodoc is married and lives in Buenos Aires.

© international literature festival berlin