Biographical Note

Susana Medina Red Tales Cuentos Rojos Philosophical Toys

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


         Will Self

SUSANA MEDINA (Hampshire, 1966) is the author of Philosophical Toys (Dalkey Archive Press), offspring of which are the short films Buñuel’s Philosophical Toys and Leather-bound Stories (co-directed with Derek Ogbourne); Red Tales (Araña Editorial, bilingual ed. co-translated with Rosie Marteau); and Souvenirs del Accidente (Germanía). She has been awarded the Max Aub Short Story International Prize and an ACE Writing Grant for Spinning Days of Night. Her story ‘Oestrogen’ was published in Best European Fiction, 2014. Philosophical Toys  was selected by different critics in Best Books 2015Top Ten Reads, 3:AM Magazine.

Medina’s fiction has received accolades from The Times Literary Supplement, The Independent, The National, El País, as well as from Will Self and Deborah Levy.

Her work has been published in The Times Literary Supplement, The White Review, PEN, 3: AM Magazine, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, El País, El Europeo and Ajoblanco, and in anthologies from Dalkey Archive Press, Repeater Books and Shearman Books.

Susana has read her fiction at festivals including Estuary, Edinburgh Fringe, Stoke Newington, Port Eliot Lit, Cheltenham and universities such as Oxford, Goldsmiths and Birkbeck College. She won the 2012 Farrago Zoo Awards, Best Performance Working in English & Another Language, and her ‘Poem 66’ was the runner-up in Good Morning Menagerie International Translation Award, Colorado, 2016.

She is a climate activist, taking action and appearing on stages for Extinction Rebellion UK, including the legendary pink boat at Oxford Circus, Edinburgh Fringe and Writers Rebel’s 40 Top Writers Marathon. She is currently writing a related dialogue Rebel Rebel –An Emergency Dialogue with Roc Sandford.

Born in England to a German mother of Czech origin and a Spanish father, Susana’s parents moved to Spain (Valencia) in 1968, where she was brought up. Having read on book covers that writers often lived elsewhere, she eloped 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. She holds a PhD in Spanish-Latin American Literature, and a Masters in Hispanic Studies from Birkbeck College. 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. She is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University.


Although more or less resident in London since 1987, for over two decades she contributed to prestigious Spanish publications and wrote her first books in Spanish, her native tongue. Trozos de Una (Chunks of One), an anti-novel written when she was 25 years old, was awarded a Generalitat Writing Grant. 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). She has published a number of essays on literature, art, cinema and photography, written art catalogues, exhibited at Tate Modern and worked together with artists, the latest collaboration being a multi-media story Susana Medina: Object Lessons with Paul Louis Archer for El País. In 1992 and 1993, she curated various well received international art shows, notably Space International and Reproductions with artist Derek Ogbourne and John Russell (BANK), the catalogue for Space International soon becoming a legendary piece. She has also worked as a voluntary translator for English PEN, Writers in Prison Programme, and used to love doing pieces just for the web .

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© Lorenzo Hernández

©  Derek Ogbourne