Yo, una estudiante normal, devorando libros echada en mi cama y pensando que llevaba una vida normal, no como en las grandes películas, o en las grandes historias, sino una en donde la gente vivía y moría, como si no fuera gran cosa, como parte de algo que resultaba tan cotidiano, que no se dejaba notar y mucho menos analizar en profundidad.
Me, a normal student, devouring books lying on my bed and thinking that I lived a normal life, not like in the great films, or the great stories, but one in which people lived and died as if it was no big deal, like part of something so everyday that you didn’t notice it, let alone deeply analyse it.
With her debut collection of short stories, Granizo (Caracas: El perro y la rana, 2010), Dayana Fraile won the I Biennial Literaria Julián Padrón, whose judges praised her use of dialogue, suggestive narrative techniques and very ‘current’ irony.
What I love about Dayana is how she refuses to give in to the demand that literature should be overtly political. Instead, hers are simple stories of normal young people – students or factory workers – their friendships, their everyday pleasures or struggles and their search for independence. Dayana’s are strong, nuanced female characters, of which there are still not nearly enough in contemporary literature. While the settings are small, the characters are so real and engaging that you genuinely care for them and often feel like a friend is confessing secrets to you as you read. La vida con Fiori, for example, begins with a brilliantly evocative description of a flower made of guacamole and peppers, just a small detail of a joyful drunken evening between friends, but the juxtaposition between this and understated, almost casual way in which a huge emotional secret comes to light later in the story is extremely powerful. Though Granizo is short, it proves Dayana to be an extremely talented story writer and deserves to be much more widely read.
I Biennial Literaria Julián Padrón 2010