Eduardo Mendoza Garriga is a contemporary Spanish novel writer, although he has worked in a number of genres including theatre, essays and short stories. He is most well known for his epic, historical style novels, a style of novel which has continued to be popular since the post-war period.
Eduardo Mendoza Garriga was born in 1943 in Barcelona to a lawyer and a housewife. He studied for a year in a school run by the monks of Nuestra Señora de Loreto, another year in Mercedarias, and then finally, from 1950 onwards, in the school of the Hermanos Maristas. At university he studied law and obtained his degree in 1965. Following this, Eduardo traveled around Europe and in 1966, he received a grant in London. On his return to Spain in 1967, he began working as a lawyer, but abandoned this post in 1973 in order to work as a translator for the UN in New York.
During his stay in the US, Eduardo Mendoza Garriga published his first novel La verdad sobre el caso Savolta in 1975. The original title of this work had been Los soldados de Cataluña, but he had to change it due to problems with the censorship under Franco. Considered by many to be the precursor to the change in Spanish society and one of the first Spanish novels from the transitional democracy period in the country, this work brought Mendoza Garriga a certain amount of fame. It was published just a few months before Franco died, and the following year it was awarded the Critics Prize.
In 1979, he published El misterio de la cripta embrujada which would mark the beginning of a trilogy of detective novels with a strange main character: an unnamed detective who is actually a patient in a mental asylum. The second novel, El laberinto de las aceitunas in 1982 helped Eduardo Mendoza Garriga become one of the biggest selling Spanish authors of the time. The final chapter of the series, La aventura del tocador de señoras, was published in 2001. This trilogy is particularly challenging for those who want to study Spanish abroad but it does contain enough black comedy to make it worth reading.
He returned to Barcelona in 1983, however he still earned his living through simultaneous interpreting jobs for international organizations. In 1986, he published La ciudad de los prodigios which is considered by many to be the pinnacle of his literary works. In 1999, this novel was adapted for cinema by Mario Camus.
This contemporary Spanish author has also dabbled in the world of theatre. In 1990, his play Restauració was performed for the first time at the Teatro Romea in Barcelona, and then was later translated from Catalan into Castilian Spanish by Eduardo himself so that it could be performed in Madrid. This same year, the newspaper 'El País' published his novel Sin noticias de Gurb in chapters; a similar thing would happen in 2001 with El último trayecto de Horacio Dos.
In 2010, Eduardo Mendoza Garriga, under the pseudonym Ricardo Medina, won the Premio Planeta de novela and a prize of 601,000 euros with Riña de gatos. Madrid 1936. Today he lives in Batea in Catalonia and participates in various literary competitions, as well as occasionally teaching translation.
Eduardo Mendoza, which is the name that you will find on his books if you want to look out for one when you visit Spain, wrote what is now considered to be the first novel of the transitional democracy period of Spain's history. He is most famous for his contribution to the historical and detective style of novel, as is the case with his trilogy of works concerning the unknown detective from a mental asylum. Below you can find a quick outline of some of his other most famous novels and works.
La verdad sobre el caso Savolta - Eduardo Mendoza's first novel describes the panorama of the union fights at the beginning of the 20th century, showing the social, cultural and economic reality of Barcelona during this period. In this work, we can see the capacity of Mendoza to skillfully use different discourse and narrative styles throughout his novel.
La ciudad de los prodigios - In this novel, Eduardo Mendoza shows the social and urban evolution undergone by Barcelona in the period between the two world expos of 1888 and 1929.
Riña de gatos. Madrid 1936 - This novel is set in Spain at the start of the spring of 1936, when a young Englishman, a specialist in Spanish painting, is summoned to the country to value a possible undiscovered painting by Velázquez.