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Ave Barrera

“We must pay serious attention to the work of Ave Barrera, not just what she has already published but also what is yet to be written.” Cristina Rivera Garza

 

Ave Barrera (Guadalajara, México, 1980) holds a Bachelor in Hispanic Literature at University of Guadalajara and for several years she was editor in Oaxaca, México. Ave has been awarded fellowships from the Fundación Carolina for a training course on publishing at the Complutense University of Madrid and the Young Creators Grant for Novel (2010 and 2014) from the Mexican National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA). Ave has worked as copywriter for e-media and once as a ghostwriter. She also writes short stories and just published the illustrated children book Una noche en el laberinto (A Night in a Labyrinth, Edebé 2014). She was recipient of the Sergio Galindo Award from the Veracruz University with her first novel Puertas demasiado pequeñas (Too Small Doors). She currently lives in México City and is writing a new novel: Tratado de la vida marina (A Treatise of Marine Life) with the support of FONCA. Her latest novel is Restauración (The Restoration, Paraíso Perdido 2019).

 

Restauración (The Restoration)

Paraíso Perdido, 2019 / 242 pages

 

Rights acquired by:

Charco Press (World English)

Editorial Contraseña (Spain)

Paraíso Perdido (Mexico)

Storytel (Audiobook – Spanish)

 

 

 

 

Miri is a PhD student of Art Conservation when she meets the photographer Zuri. Miri falls in love with him after they got locked in a photo lab and she helps him during an anxiety attack. Weeks later Zuri invites Min to pose for one of his photo session based on a mysterious book. Zuri tells her that his great uncle Eligio asked him, before he passed away, to reproduce a photo from a book written by Eligio’s very best friend Christian.

She is enthusiastic about it but doesn’t know Zuri’s real intention. During the photo session, Miri is drugged by Zuri and enters into an hallucinatory condition. Next morning she wakes up and only remember that both agreed she will restores the house to its former glory and live forever with Zuri in there. In the restoration process she receives help from the ghost of Oralia, the old housekeeper, and also from her grandchildren Mario, that is alive.

A moth constantly appears to her and guide her to a spot when a key is hidden. As Min starts opening the house’s rooms she discovers key opens the darkroom where she will find another ghost: Gertrude – Eligio’s wife and Christian’s lover –. Min will helps her to save a treasure that Gertrude hid, which is capable to breaks the house’s curse.

When restoration is almost finished Min realizes she is a ghost as well – the moth is her spirit – and starts to remember details about the dark ceremony where the evil ghosts of Zuri’s great uncle Eligio and Christian, the perverted writer of the novel represented in the photo session, tortured her until death. She wants to destroy Zuri and all trace of evil Eligio and Christian.

Min hear Zuri is back in the house and finds him in the darkroom, developing the photos of the session. She looks the door while Zuri cries inside as he has a panic attack like when they first met. This time he got no one to comfort him, no one to open the door. He stays locked there for several days and dies.

After that, Min meets Mario and asks him to finish to plant a tree in the houses garden as a favor to her. Mario accepts and Min walks away followed by the moth into the forest. When Mario plants the tree he finds a jar holding the treasure Gertrude protected for many years.

 

 

Puertas demasiado pequeñas (Too Small Doors)

Alianza Editorial, 2016 / 216 pages

 

 

Rights acquired by:

Alianza Editorial (World Spanish except Colombia)

Charco Press (World English)

Laguna Libros (Colombia)

Storytel (Audiobook – Spanish)

 

 

 

 

Ave Barrera introduces us into a silent and empty space, as material as abstract: The artistic creation. She take us with extreme naturalness in this microcosm so rare and shocking as real, thanks to the construction of powerful atmospheres – those that emanate from such singular spaces, with their characters and also with their objects, lights, tones … – that produces varied sensations through a range that goes from dream-hallucinations to horror and beauty. Ana Rodríguez Fischer, Babelia

“The plot flows in an intelligent and audacious way: It surprises by the simplicity and malice about how complex technical aspects are solved. Thus, the novel traps by the fluency and forcefulness of facts, the permanent humor of its narrator/character, and the picaresque intrigue on the attempts of an eccentric millionaire and a starving painter of Guadalajara to falsify a Renaissance painting to defraud European heirs.”  Geney Beltrán, Literary critic

“A fun and entertaining story of a great literary quality.” Milenio newspaper

“I liked the novel a lot; Ave Barrera is capable of creating a very disturbing environment. The novel is delightfully written, full of revelations … Such a literary discover.” Benjamin Prado, Todos somos sospechosos, Radio 3 (RTVE)

Perhaps to forge artwork is not an honourable work but a productive one, unless the person who does it is absorbed and ravaged by a hurricane of misunderstandings, mysteries, ambitions, ravings and adventures. All these will happen to José Federico Burgos, the main character of Too small doors. José is a gifted self-taught copyist (absorbed by an economical crisis) who accepts an offer from an eccentric antique dealer to forge a Renaissance painting by Flemish artist Mabuse, with which they intend to defraud a rich European family. What Jose does not know is that the task is virtually impossible because the painting is of huge proportions and is enclosed in a dark diminutive chapel part of the dealer´s mansion. While José goes deeper in the work, he must unravel shady secrets of the dealer´s family, thus triggering a complex intrigue which will take him beyond the limits of reason until face pain, renunciation and death. The daring plot of Too small doors and its intelligent humour take us in a natural way to the world behind painting creation while paying homage to Luis Barragan´s arquitecture and Juan Rulfo´s writing.

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Camilo Pino