“Write about something that has never happened to people who have never existed” 

Angélica Gorodischer, by Nicolasgoro, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Such was the recipe for storytelling of Angélica Gorodischer, the Argentine award-winning author who passed away a month ago, on February 5th, in her beloved hometown of Rosario at the age of 93 years old. Her books were translated into several languages, including English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Czech and Russian, and although it was not the only genre she was prolific in, she is mainly known for her science fiction works.

Angélica Gorodischer had a witty humour and an erudite, copious imagination (at 87 years old, she told of how she would create a new story daily in her mind before falling asleep), the flow of which she would not refrain from, writing in the middle of the night when she had, in her own words, “a husband, three small children, a house, a garden, a dog, a cat and a job (as a librarian) outside of the house”.

Winner of the World Fantasy Award for life achievement in 2011, among many others, she was precursor of feminism in Argentinian literature. From her earliest works (the first one being Cuentos con soldados, 1965, on order), female characters do not conform to the stereotype of the “defeated” woman, and Gorodischer believed that many women can “achieve what they want, without the need of a revolution, just naturally, like men do”. In 1997 she was granted the “Premio Dignidad” by Permanent Assembly for Human Rights for her support for women’s rights.

In 1988, while attending the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Gorodischer met SF acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, who later translated probably her most recognised work, Kalpa Imperial (on order in Spanish and in English here -Raven password required) and who would become one of her most vocal supporters in the English-speaking world. Other works translated into English held by the Library include Trafalgar (1979; translated by Amalia Gladhart); Prodigies (1994; translated by Sue Burke); and Jaguars’ Tomb (translated by Amalia Gladhart and available online here). Her short story, The Violet’s Embryos appears in Cosmos latinos : an anthology of science fiction from Latin America and Spain. Her work features also in Alberto Manguel’s anthology Other fires: short fiction by Latin American women  and in several other anthologies too.

In Spanish, our holdings by and on the author are extensive and we are in the process of filling any gaps to complete the collection. Click to see a full list.

It is an honour to remember her on International Women’s Day.

Clara Panozzo

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