L’writer Helena Carreras pays tribute to a whole generation of young people and teenagers who are fighting for what they believe in the midst of the turbulences of the present in the novel Nineteen twenty, with which he won the prize Just M. Casero last fall. The Girona woman frames the narrative, focused on the relationship between a mother and her sixteen-year-old daughter, during the difficult school year 19/20, marked first by the sentencing of the trial and later by the pandemic.
Edited by Empúries, the story stars Cuba, a teenager who seeks to assert his personality, and his mother Diana, who is separating: “The two are in full swing self-affirmation process, try to find their place in the world, with similarities and differences between them ». “They look at each other, admire each other and sometimes envy each other,” explains Carreras, who 35 years experience as a teacher he felt he had “one debt ”with a generation of young people “Who are often called inconsistent and are not at all.”
“Young people have heard about freedom, pacifism, solidarity, the welfare state and have found a drifting world that practices just the opposite“, He points out, emphasizing that this generates” frustration “. “Young people have shown that when something matters to them they act much more than adults, I was interested in seeing that in the novel,” he says.
Carreras, who worked as a high school teacher, explains that the idea from which she started in August 2019, when she began writing, was to reflect on what concepts such as “freedom and independence»On a personal level, but that was incorporating everything that happened during the course, such as the storm Gloria and the confinement. This “real-time” backdrop has allowed him to explore how the relationships between the characters change.
To face this reality that overcomes them, mother and daughter write intimate and spontaneous notes that, the author explains, reflect the Empordà vocabulary to record where they live. In the case of Cuba, Carreras points out that he has tried to show the way young people talk, but from one “rich” lexicon and “a literary language”, without imitations.
Carreras has won the 40th Casero Prize for his fourth novel, but the first three remain unpublished. A few years ago, a finalist for the now-defunct Odyssey Reader Award with another novel that was not published due to the publisher’s bankruptcy, Carreras says he will continue writing, although ‘obsession with publishing’.
He bookseller Guillem Terribas, from Bookshop 22 who organizes the award, yesterday claimed the trajectory of the Casero as an independent literary award that has helped to discover new voices, giving as an example Víctor García Tur, winner in 2017 and who has just received the Sant Jordi de Novel·la. He also said that the finalist novel, El señor Clauss by Marta Pasqual, “is in good hands and will possibly be published as well.