Biographical Note

 

‘Susana Medina's prose is both spare and lush, and there's a commendable tension about the enterprise.'

                                  

Will Self



SUSANA MEDINA was born in England (Hampshire) in 1966 to a German mother of Czech origin and a Spanish father. Her family moved to Spain (Valencia) in 1968, where she was brought up. Having read on book covers that writers often lived elsewhere, she came to London when she was 19 years old. Fascinated by the city's mishmash of cultures and subcultures, she stayed on and studied History of Art and Italian at University College London, then lived for a year in Venice and Bologna where she studied at DAMS under Umberto Eco and Dario Fo.


Although more or less resident in London since 1987, she has written in Spanish, her native tongue, until recently. Trozos de Una (Chunks of One), an anti-novel written when she was 25 years old, won a Generalitat Writing Grant. It was followed by Red Tales Cuentos rojos, (bilingual edition, translation Rosie Marteau with the author, Araña Editorial, 2012) which includes the Max Aub International Short Story Prize-winning story, and the acclaimed collection of poetry, aphorisms and ballads Souvenirs from the Accident (2004). Philosophical Toys (forthcoming Dalkey Archive Press), is her first novel in English, an offspring from which are the highly praised short films Buñuel's Philosophical Toys (24 mins), shown internationally, as well as Leather-bound Stories (30 mins), recently shown at The Freud Museum and described by Richard Marshall from 3:AM Magazine as: ‘Unmissable, mesmerising, totally unique … a wonderfully delicate but zesty film.’ Medina will represent Spain in the prestigious US anthology Best European Fiction, 2014, Dalkey Archive.


Susana’s literary work has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines and has been translated into several languages. She has always written across a number of art forms, being interested in the gaps between the arts, genres and disciplines, the playful and the dead serious ("Coherence is often confused with homogeneity. In order to be coherent, art should shoot in all directions", she says in Souvenirs from the Accident). From the TLS to Lápiz and 3:AM Magazine, she has published a number of essays on literature, art, cinema and photography.


She loves doing pieces just for the web and has also curated various well received international art shows, written art catalogues, exhibited at Tate Modern and collaborated with artists, as well as magazines on the arts. In 1992 and 1993, she curated various well received international art shows, notably Space International and Reproductions in conjunction with artist Derek Ogbourne and John Russell (editor of Frozen Tears), the catalogue which she produced and wrote for Space International soon becoming a legendary piece.  She is a voluntary translator for English PEN, Writers in Prison Programme.


Borgesland, A voyage through the infinite, imaginary places, labyrinths, Buenos Aires and other psychogeographies and figments of space, her PhD thesis on imaginary spaces in the oeuvre of Jorge Luis Borges, was awarded on June 2006 at Birkbeck College, London, where she originally gained her MA in Hispanic Studies. She teaches at the Open University.


Other honours include an Arts and Humanities Research Board Grant, the Snowdon Award and more recently a substantial Arts Council Writing Grant (February 2008) for her new novel Spinning Days of Night.



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