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Rafael Chirbes

Tavernes de Valldigna, València

Rafael Chirbes


Rafael Chirbes (1949 - 2015) is one of Spain’s most acclaimed writers today. He studied Modern and Contemporary History in Madrid and, in addition to his articles on gastronomy, oenology, and travel, he writes as a literary critic for different media publications. His work has well received in Spain relatively recently: Crematorio was awarded the 2008 National Critics’ Prize and En la orilla was named best novel for 2013 by the daily El País. However, he has also been widely read in Germany since the 1990s and the German translation of La larga marcha, which sold 100,000 copies,was awarded the SWR-Bestenliste Prize. His books offer a stark account of the hardships and general wretchedness caused by the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, thus placing him among the writers who have best depicted the wounds of the conflict and Spain’s recent history. His last two novels constitute a harsh criticism of the years of real-estate speculation and generalised corruption and greed.

He has published essays:


  • El novelista perplejo. (The Perplexed Novelist)
  • El viajero sedentario. (The Sedentary Traveller)
  • Mediterráneos. (Mediterraneans)
  • Por cuenta propia. (In One’s Own name)

As well as nine novels, all them published by Anagrama.



  • Mimoun.
  • En la lucha final. (In the Final Struggle)
  • La buena letra. (Bit by Bit)
  • Los disparos del cazador. (The Hunter’s Shots)
  • La larga marcha. (The Long March)
  • La caída de Madrid. (The Fall of Madrid)
  • Los viejos amigos. (Old Friends)
  • Crematorio. (Crematorium)
  • En la orilla. (On the Shore)

[Update: January 2014]


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    "Rubble and Progress"

    The spanish writer Rafael Chirbes returns to the Valencia of his childhood, to render homage to a time preceding property speculation. This lecture was part of the Open City cycle. [Original version in Spanish | Duration: 01:07:44]