23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Samanta Schweblin
© Stefan Klüter/ Suhrkamp Verlag

Samanta Schweblin

Samanta Schweblin was born in Buenos Aires in 1978. She studied cinematography at the University of Buenos Aires and subsequently founded an agency for web design.

Her first anthology of short stories, »El núcleo del disturbio« (tr: The Nucleus of Unrest) was published in 2002 and was awarded the prestigious Fondo Nacional de las Artes and the Concurso Nacional Haroldo Conti. Thanks to a scholarship, she was able to spend a part of the year 2008 as an Artist in Residence in Oaxaca, Mexiko, and dedicate her time entirely to writing. Schweblin’s second collection of short stories, »Pájaros en la boca« (2009; Eng. »Mouthful of Birds«, 2010) gained her international fame. The collection was translated into more than a dozen languages and was given the International Award Casa de las Américas. Her stories, some of which include »flash fiction«, have a convincing, succinct style, and deal with the latent threats and the abyss in everyday life. Her prose miniatures often reveal a fascination with the morbid and the grotesque. Apart from Schweblin’s deliberately reduced and accurate vocabulary, these sketches are powerful, because they seem vivid without any detailed description of the truly disturbing elements they involve. Schweblin loves to start her stories in medias res and prefers open endings, which enhances the unsettling impact of her fiction. The feuilleton sees her works in the tradition of Latin American narratives, between neo-fantastic and magic realism. More than one critic has compared her with the great minds of Argentine literature, namely Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, and Adolfo Bioy Casares. Her first novel »Distancia de rescate« (Eng. »Fever Dream«, 2017) was published in 2014. In her dialogue-rich text, Schweblin tells of the momentous encounter between two women and their children in a village on the edge of a large soybean plantation and of the mysterious fever that is most likely linked to the use of pesticides. Through this story, the author takes aim at the current situation in Argentina, where agricultural corporations not only dominate agriculture, but also social life. Schweblin’s second novel, the techno dystopia »Kentukis« (2018; Eng. »Little Eyes«, 2019) interweaves the lifelines of several characters from different continents. They all keep a kind of high-tech pet, the Kentukis, who spy on their owners through a built-in camera and spread the information over the Internet.

In 2010, the US literary journal »Granta« put Schweblin on their list of the best young Spanish-speaking writers. She won the IV Premio Internacional de Narrativa Breve for her collection of short stories »Siete casas vacías« (Eng. »Seven Empty Houses«, 2016) in 2015. Schweblin lives and works in Berlin.


El núcleo del disturbio

Destino Ediciones, Planeta

Buenos Aires, 2002

Die Wahrheit über die Zukunft


Berlin, 2010

[Ü: Angelica Ammar]

Das Gift


Berlin, 2015

[Ü: Marianne Gareis]

Sieben leere Häuser


Berlin, 2018

[Ü: Marianne Gareis]

Hundert Augen


Berlin, 2020

[Ü: Marianne Gareis]