Selva Almada was born in Entre Ríos, a province in central Argentina, in 1973. After studying literature in Parana, the capital of Entre Ríos, she moved to Buenos Aires. She has been the co-director of the »Carne Argentina« lecture series at La Tribu radio station since 2006. She also organizes creative writing workshops in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities. In her homeland, she made a name for herself first and foremost via her stories and poems.
Critics in Argentina hailed Almada’s first novel »El viento que arrasa« (tr. The sweeping wind) as one of the best books of 2012. The novel’s main characters are Pearson, an itinerant Protestant preacher who travels with his 16 year-old daughter, Lena, through barren, desert-like regions of Argentina; by chance, they meet a bitter auto mechanic named Gringo Brauer and his young apprentice, Tapioca. Lena has nothing but contempt for her father’s fanatical beliefs, which means that Pearson preaches all the more feverishly to win over the naive and impressionable Tapioca, only to come up against fierce resistance from the young man’s mentor. The two older men are very different, and yet both are unable to handle their failures as father figures and proceed to carry out their duel against one another against the backdrop of rural Argentina twenty years after the severe economic crisis. Almada works in the tradition of William Faulkner and major Latin American novelists, that is, with a confident prose that moves easily between the poetic and the hyper real. Critics characterize her as an author of unusual strength who succeeds in reinventing the pastoral world of Argentina. Almada’s second novel, »Ladrilleros« (tr. Brick makers), which appeared in 2013, is rife with sex and violence; two men pass on their own age-old feud to their children, thus turning their offspring’s lives into hell. In 2014, she published the documentary novel »Chicas muertas« (tr. Dead girls) about the murder of three girls in the Argentine countryside in the 1980s. The text contains several interviews that Almada carried out with the families, friends and neighbors of the victims as well as with judges and police officers. Almada’s work on this project was funded by a stipend from the Argentine National Foundation for the Arts (FNA). Her latest book »El desapego es una manera de querernos« (tr. Contempt is a form of love) is a collection of short stories that also take place in rural Argentina.
The Spanish newspaper »El País« hailed Selva Almada as one of the most promising voices in contemporary Latin American literature. She lives in Buenos Aires.