- Back cover text for Párpados
- What they say about Párpados
- Press Release from Dos Passos Literature and Communication Agency
Toni Quero (Sabadell, Barcelona) has a degree in Spanish Language and Literature and works as an editor. His first book, the collection of poems Los adolescentes furtivos [The Furtive Adolescents], was awarded the Antonio Machado International Literature Prize in 2009 in Collioure. Translated into French, it was published with a prologue by Pere Gimferrer. Quero has contributed to several anthologies and his poems have been published in Spanish, French and Latin American poetry journals.
In October 2016 his book Párpados [Eyelids] won the III Dos Passos Award for a First Novel, organized by the Dos Passos literary agency, the Ámbito Cultural promotion agency of El Corte Inglés and the publisher Galaxia Gutenberg.
Represented by Dos Passos Literature and Communication Agency:
—Párpados. III Dos Passos Award for a First Novel. Galaxia Gutenberg, Barcelona, May 2017.
—Los adolescentes furtivos / Les adolescents furtifs. Antonio Machado International Literature Prize, 2009. Prologue by Pere Gimferrer. Translated into French by Renada-Laura Portet. Cap Béar Éditions, Perpiñán, 2010.
2. Back cover text for Párpados
Duna and her boyfriend move to the desolate and eerie landscape of the Ebro delta at the start of June with the aim of working through the summer in a local restaurant, and to strengthen their relationship. Soon, however, their boredom and frustration drive them to set off on a motorbike towards the north of Europe, on a trip that takes them to Paris and Copenhagen. On this journey, as they burn through the kilometres and their meagre savings, Duna tries to capture a fading reality in her sketchbook while her partner, in contrast, captures life through the lens of a camera. The sea, the rain and the winding Atlantic coast form the recurring backdrop to this search for a place in the world. Theirs is a broken journey in which they come across strange characters, revisit old loves and try to distance themselves from a past that spreads out behind them like an oil slick on the road.
Written in an agile, fractured prose with abundant verbal resources, Párpados is a first-person narration of an inner journey as well as a physical one. In the course of a hundred days, the young couple cross chaotic cities, natural parks and back roads in a continuous movement that will force them to face their fears, to make plans for the future and eventually, change their lives. Párpados is the discovery of an author with a powerful voice and a wealth of startling images, the chronicle of a restless time, of promises and broken dreams, in a Europe that is both harsh and homely.
3. What they say about Párpados
“In this sense, because of its topicality, its vivisection of alienation, of precariousness and instability, we can say that this is a work of this generation”.
Pilar Adón, author, translator and editor, in the presentation of the novel, taken from the literature portal Zenda
“In the best tradition of coming-of-age novels, an exploration of inner landscapes and abysses, and a lesson on the impossibility of recovering that which we have lost”.
Luis Bagué Quílez, journalist and author, for the newspaper Información
“Párpados deserves a positive reception for its itinerant tale centred on the mutual dependency of its two twenty-something protagonists in relation with the places they visit on the hundred days of their journey to the North, for its well-judged fragmentation, with skilful dominion of ellipsis and flashbacks in setting out the chronological arrangement of the narration, for its straightforward style and its verbal dexterity in a number of lexical fields”.
Ángel Basanta, literary critic, in El Cultural, the cultural supplement of the newspaper El Mundo
“This novel (intense in its rhythm, disturbing in its emotional swings, surprising in its dramatic changes of pace) deserves more than a superficial reading”.
Tino Pertierra, journalist and literary critic for the newspaper La Nueva España
“That such an excellent novel should be its author’s first is surprising, considering the skill on display in its pages, which contain many memorable passages”.
Miguel Barrero, author, journalist and literary critic, in the literary portal Zenda
“The novel conjures up an emotional, sentimental and existential world in a hundred brief chapters, a hundred days, a hundred deeply-felt moments. A hundred pieces in the puzzle of life”.
Winston Manrique Sabogal, journalist and literary critic, in the literary portal WMagazín
“A risky novel because of the state of mind it provokes, the permanent consciousness of fragility and its depiction of landscapes, which are the landscapes of the soul”.
Miguel Munárriz, journalist, author and editor, in the literary portal Zenda
“In a minimalist sense, it could remind you of McCarthy’s The Road in the simplicity of its story: boy and girl set off from the Ebro delta towards Europe, stopping in Paris, Berlin, Ostend, Thy and Copenhagen in Denmark. The journey provides the background music as they perpetually waver between the sensation of freedom and pointlessness. Or the uphill struggle against reality in which the journey appears as the only option to avoid collapse”.
Eduardo Laporte, author, journalist and literary critic, in Territorios, the cultural supplement of the newspaper El Correo.
“The novel has an intensity that makes reading it an almost hypnotic experience”.
José Martínez Ros in CulturaFnac, the page of cultural recommendations of Fnac España
“A novel in a style bordering on expressionism that provokes a gentle turmoil in the soul”.
David Madueño, author and literary critic, in the literary blog LlunÀtic
“I can only recommend that you read this wonderful book that I have been so lucky to discover”.
From the literary blog Ni un día sin libro
“Párpados is a calm, flowing novel, written in a spare, precise language full of ideas and creativity”.
Agustín Calvo Galán, author and literary critic, in the literary blog Proyecto Desvelos
“Beauty, the kind that stops clocks, is sometimes found in the small everyday things, in a highway verge or a roundabout. Toni Quero hunts for it in his pages, and finds it time and again”.
Eduardo Laporte, author, journalist and literary critic in the literature blog El Tayer
“Deeply contemporary in its essence, the novel does not forgo touches of the classics of this genre. Endless kilometres covered on back roads, cheap accommodation, petrol like mother’s milk, past experiences recurring and repeating on the palate with a bitter taste. Blurred partitions, life as a black and white image with the same lines scrawled on time and time again”.
From the digital newspaper El Pulso
4. Press Release from Dos Passos Literature and Communication Agency
TONI QUERO WINS THE III DOS PASSOS PRIZE FOR A FIRST NOVEL WITH HIS WORK “PÁRPADOS”
The third edition received 639 original works from Spain and Latin America.
The jury of the third edition, consisting of Pilar Adón, Marcos Giralt Torrente, Manuel Longares, Fernando Marías, Inés Martín Rodrigo, Clara Sánchez and Santos Sanz Villanueva, decided by a majority vote to award the Dos Passos Prize for a First Novel to Párpados.
The members of the jury affirmed that Párpados, the inner and physical journey of a young couple, is an agile novel that uses a rich, lyrical and highly visual language to portray the alienation of these times. “It is strongly rooted in the present, when young people find themselves uprooted and oppressed by shattered dreams and unfulfilled desires. It is a road movie through the cities and landscapes of Europe in which the protagonists are forced to face up to their past, to make plans for the future and in which their lives are thoroughly changed”.
The Award has three parts: a financial award worth 12,000 euros, the publication of the novel by the Galaxia Gutenberg publishing house and to become one of the authors represented by the Dos Passos agency. The winning novel will be published in 2017. The Dos Passos Prize was created with the aim of discovering new talents and promoting the values of literary quality and originality in Spanish literature, to give previously unpublished novelists an opportunity.