Search - List of Books by Ignacio Solares
Ignacio Solares (1945- ) is a prominent Mexican novelist, editor and playwright, whose novel La invasion (The Invasion, 2004) was a bestseller in Mexico and Spain. Until 2005 he served as the Coordinator of Cultural Activities for Literature and Arts at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM); he is once again a faculty member there and directs the cultural magazine Revista de la Universidad de México. He formerly served as director of the Department of Theater and Dance and the Division of Literature at UNAM. He also edits the cultural supplement to the weekly magazine Siempre.
Solares is known for mystical occurrences and “dislocations of reality” in his fiction. In Anonimo (Anonymous Note, 1979), a work that has been compared to Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” for its protagonist’s metamorphosis into another person, we see Solares’ rejection of much organized religion (especially the Roman Catholic Church), but his simultaneous search for the transcendent and religious on the borders of human experience. He has written, “I believe in every possible manifestation of spiritual strangeness. I believe in all possible escapes. The only thing I cannot endure is reality, whatever it may be. I believe that the writer is defined by the constant necessity of creating a world, to depart from this world. Literature is more concerned with misery than with happiness. Writing is directly related to frustration. It is a reflection of personal desperation. The writer is profoundly disgusted with his reality.”
Solares was born in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, but much of his fiction is set in Mexico City. Casas de encantamiento (Houses of Enchantment, 1987), which won the Novedades prize in 1988, tries to capture Mexico City through time. He has written a number of historical novels over the years, beginning with Madero, el otro (Madero’s Judgment, 1989), and including La invasion. The latter, though it vividly describes the grim reality of the United States’ invasion of Mexico and occupation of Mexico City in 1847, during the Mexican-American War, focuses on the protagonist’s personal relationships during and many years after the invasion. Columbus (1996), on the other hand, deals with Pancho Villa’s invasion of the United States. Nen, la inútil (Nen the Useless, 1994) is concerned with the advent of the Conquistadores into Precolumbian central America; Nen is an Aztec girl who is raped by a Spanish soldier.
The essays in Cartas a una joven psicóloga (Letters to a Young Psychologist, 2000) and the play La moneda de oro ¿Freud o Jung? (The Golden Coin, Freud or Jung? 2004) reflect Solares’ interest in psychotherapy.
Solares’ Delirium tremens (1979, published in English in 2000 as Delirium Tremens: Stories of Suffering and Transcendence) is a work of non-fiction that collects stories of nightmarish visions experienced by alcoholics when undergoing delirium tremens. It is both a penetrating study of addiction, and a harrowing study of descents into personal hells. Solares’ father had experienced delirium tremens when Solares was a boy.
Eladio Cortés, in his Dictionary of Mexican Literature, has written that “Solares’ novels have the simplicity of a fairy tale and the complexity of a metaphysical treatise. The author’s ability to capture and hold the reader’s interest is one of his main assets. He is one of contemporary Mexico’s best novelists.”
Total Books: 21
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