Invidual residences

ANDREA ABREU

From Monday, 13 September 2021 to Monday, 20 September 2021

ANDREA ABREU
Journalist and writer
Tenerife, Canary Islands

Bio

Andrea Abreu (1995) is a canarian journalist and writer. She has published the poetry book ‘Mujer sin párpados’ (2017) and the fanzine ‘Primavera que sangra’ (Demipage, 2017), about menstrual pain. Her first novel is ‘Panza de burro’ (Barrett, 2020), that was edited by the journalist and writer Sabina Urraca. ‘Panza de burro’ has sold more than 30.000 copies and will be translated in more than nine languages. Furthermore, it was selected as the best Spanish debut in 2021 by the Festival du premier roman de Chambéry. Andrea Abreu is part of the list of best Spanish voices under 35 years by the prestigious magazine ‘Granta’.

Project

During my stay at the residence, I am going to work on my second novel, ‘Pajaritos preñados’. Following the stylistic line of my first novel –‘Panza de burro’–, this second book is based on a hyper-realistic vision of language, through which I intend to generate a simulacrum of orality that seeks to represent the Canarian variant of Spanish. In this new book I develop two parallel stories starring a father and a daughter from a rural area of ​​Tenerife, in the early 2000s.

My stay at the Faberllull residency in Olot took place between 13 and 20 September 2021. The reason that led me to request this stay was the need to find a space, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to focus on writing my second novel: Pajaritos preñados. This second narrative work continues the hyperrealistic vision of language that I developed in my first and only novel to date, Panza de burro. Pajaritos preñados is intended to be a story split, in turn, into two parallel stories featuring a father and a daughter. The story is structured around themes such as care, abandonment, unwanted motherhood and poverty in the Canary Islands.

My initial intention was to devote all my working hours to writing this second novel but, much to my regret, I had to combine several tasks. My status as a freelance journalist does not allow me to leave assignments from the media and companies that hire me for too long. During that week at Faberllull, I spent my mornings working on issues related to the film adaptation of my first novel and a long journalistic report that I had to deliver in a short period of time. With a lot of effort, I managed to dedicate my afternoons to writing Pajaritos preñados, something that made me very happy, because I don't manage to find the time in my everyday life. During those afternoons dedicated to the novel, I managed to structure the book from beginning to end, write the first chapters and revisit those readings that inspired me the most in the final months.

Regarding the working environment at Faberllull, I can say that I am very satisfied. The desk and office chair were comfortable, the view of the mountains oxygenated the room almost as if you were writing among the trees and the possibility of being able to work in the common space that the residency makes available, made my day much easier. Moreover, it was easy to find time to clear my head between my hours of work. I was able to go for a run around the building and, on a few occasions, I swam in the hotel pool.

Although my initial intention was to share only occasional moments with the other residents, I had the great surprise of establishing a beautiful friendship with many of them. It's true that I had a hard time eating from a vegan menu that left me satisfied, but I still enjoyed the dinners very much. The last meal of the day became a magnificent space for meeting and dialogue that allowed me to balance the solitude of the rest of the day, dedicated to working in the room. I had the opportunity to attend a trilingual recital by the Portuguese poet Rui Cóias (Juan Carreño and Maya Feile Tomes took care of the Spanish and English, respectively) and an extraordinary piano concert by Jung Sun Kang. After a few dinners, the writer Atieh Asadollahi and the poet and chronicler Juan Carreño read several of their texts and we were able to comment on them. I leave this week in Faberllull with great friends and, without a doubt, eager to repeat the experience.

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