Nostalgia and reality in ‘Empty Hands’ and ‘The Mess You Leave’

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 08:08

The writers Rosa López Casero and Chelo Sierra present two works full of symbolism and that perfectly express the meaning of their narrative work, widely awarded in the most prestigious competitions and awards. On this occasion, both authors navigate the current of the Vincapervinca collection, with which the Regional Editor of Extremadura publishes authors with experience, to invite us to lose ourselves in nostalgia and contemporary reality, respectively.

An old African proverb says that “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go accompanied. For this reason, at the Regional Editor of Extremadura we are always accompanied by authors who make us go far, as is the case with Chelo Sierra or Rosa López Casero. Both have accumulated prestigious literary awards in their baggage, which says a lot about the quality of their texts. And both also have a large number of titles on their resumes. Hence, the importance of having them in the catalog of news that we offer to readers in these first days of November.

Rosa López, with her novel ‘The Empty Hands’, gives us a work in which, once again, she accredits her ability to present great historical frescoes, while offering the most intimate experiences of people with whom we can identify. As is the case with Argeme, that seven-year-old girl who will experience the harshness of emigration in the post-war years. Argeme left her native Extremadura in 1944 to go with her parents and siblings to Madrid. However, in the capital it is not only the range of opportunities that they long for that opens up, but also another, enormous range of difficulties on whose rods they will be stuck: ignorance, machismo, the confinement of women destined only for the domestic… Situations that She is unable to judge until she grows up and rebels against a life she doesn’t want.

‘Empty hands’

‘Empty Hands’ is a generational novel that portrays an era and accompanies the discovery of the world, the love between two teenagers who will fight for their rights and confront everyone. Through those lives that suffer, it offers a moving image of a time of injustice and inequalities. This is not a book about war or resentment between winners and losers, but rather a work in which social criticism is structured throughout its 30 chapters. ‘The Empty Hands’ is a song about love between two teenagers that will make the older generations appreciate the connection with their childhood and the younger generations learn what life was like during the post-war period without sentimentality.

Faced with the nostalgia embedded in the letters of Rosa López Casero, we find the freshest recent news in the texts of Chelo Sierra, who in ‘The disorder you complain about’ presents us with a bouquet of suggestive stories that sink their footprints in the appreciations Lacanian ideas about the chaos that surrounds any life and that the author takes advantage of to develop with the humor and irony that are characteristic marks of her writing. A compendium of different episodes of daily life that she capsizes in many cases based on insignificant events, but with a strong symbolic load.

The attraction of this bundle of short stories is that it is singularly useful for drawing the contemporary way of life that adds to that confusion the hum of devices, the noise of voices reaching us from anywhere, the company of words that have changed. their meaning and that make us cope as best we can with those imbalances that disturb us, that do not fit into an idyllic, imagined life. The 16 stories in this volume revolve around this reality, addressing this disorder from humor, from the most acute observation and, above all, from the certainty that there is no choice but to orient oneself in this labyrinth of the days and nights of the present.

Nostalgia and reality in ‘Empty Hands’ and ‘The Mess You Leave’
Nostalgia and reality in ‘Empty Hands’ and ‘The Mess You Leave’

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