Administrative Silence: Poverty In the Labyrinth Of Bureaucracy
SERIES:Nuevos Cuadernos Anagrama
This is a true story. The story of a disabled and ill homeless woman who tries to apply for a minimum income that she is entitled to according the optimistic messages of the administration and the media. But the bureaucratic labyrinth that she has to go through to get it, the hurdles and obstacles she bumps into and the cruelty of a system that demands more of those who have less, lead her into despair. Meanwhile, Spanish citizens are under the opposite impression: there are many social security benefits and pubic services for the poorest. “Privileged people.” “Opportunists.” “Lazy people.” Prejudices grow. This is one of the beginnings of the aprorofobia: The hate of the poor.
Sara Mesa (Madrid, 1976) has lived in Seville since childhood. She has published the novels Un incendio invisible (Premio Málaga de Novela) and El trepanador de cerebros, and the story collections No es fácil ser verde and La sobriedad del galápago. With her poetry collection Este jilguero she won the Premio Nacional de Poesía Miguel Hernández en 2007. With Anagrama she has published Cuatro por cuatro: «An original novel full of talent» (Pablo Martínez Zarracina, Bilbao); «A stripped-down language, using brief and forceful syntax, which often focuses on a suggestion or a detail as expressive as it is devastating» (Ana Rodríguez Fischer, El País); «A very good novel» (Eva Muñoz, La Vanguardia); «A new narrative voice emerges which is destined to lead to important things in Spanish fiction of the XXIst Century» (Ángel Basanta, El Mundo); «A cold and naked novel, full of powerful images that make the reader uneasy as they draw him in» (Marta Sanz, El Confidencial); «A disquieting invitation to look with new eyes at isolated educational environments» (María Bengoa, El Correo Español); «What can I say about a story in which everything works?... A new author that will surprise us further in future» (Sergio Sancor, Libros y literatura); «Sara Mesa. Don’t forget that name. The finalist for the XXXth Premio Herralde de Novela. Read it. Share it. Talk about it. Open the book and begin. You won’t be able to put it down.» (Uxue, Un libro al día).
Photo: © Sonia Fraga