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Care Santos was born in 1970 in Mataro, a city just north of Barcelona. She began writing at 8 years old, and never wanted to be anything but a writer. At 14 years of age she won her first writing competition and at 25, published her first book, a collection of short stories. Since then, she 's published six novels, six collections of short stories, two collections of poetry, and a great many books for children and young adults. Santos is one of Spain's most read children's book authors, and her work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Lithuanian, and Korean. She's the founder of the Association for Young Spanish Writers, and served as the organization's president for 8 years. Currently, she gives literary workshops throughout Spain and the Americas, and serves as a literary critic for national Spanish newspaper, El Mundo. Santos dedicates the rest of her time to raising her 3 children who, in the author's own words, "are [her] greatest works of art".
Her latest novel, "Habitaciones Cerradas", published by Planeta, hits bookstores on March 8th 2011
Care Santos by Care Santos
Everyday I have more doubts about who in the world Care Santos is. If it's the same dull woman I see every morning in the bathroom mirror, or if it's she who, once in a while, does something that puts her at the center of attention. In more discerning circles, that is.
We've always been in total chronological agreement; more than 40 years running into each other everywhere: in the streets, at cinemas, and theaters and restaurants, in Law School, where we were both bored to tears, on the same beach in Malgrat, and in the same first words at that Barcelona newspaper, in the same lovers' arms, and in the friendships we've shared.
But there's an abyss separating us that grows bigger every day. She who looks back at me from the mirror would never dare judge, nor raise her voice, nor get up on stage. She who admires even the littlest of things, then puts the objects of her admiration in order by color and size, who gets excited by strange words and the spellings of names she'll never actually get.
She who is afraid of everything, perpetually hypersensitive, accommodating, and never more happy than in front of a stove, making a rice dish, or improvising a chocolate cake. It is she who believes that in her children's eyes live small miracles. She who aspires to plant a lemon tree on land of her own, and watch it grow, can spend 20 years missing someone, who understands, sadly, that ideals don't exist to become real. She who hates everything.
The other is a woman of the world, who never feels out of place so long as she's got a notebook and a friend. She's been seduced by many a foreign land, and strange accents that she couldn't comprehend without having learned the solitude that has so much to do with writing. She knows how to be cheeky when uncomfortable, although she doesn't always do it. She's not resigned to watching the show from a seat in the balcony because she's discovered that on stage, she feels at home.
Before a blank page, she's always trying to kill the father but never succeeds, and so she keeps trying. High status, ambitious, workaholic, rebellious, she still believes there are ideas that will save the world. They borrow from one another constantly, each indebted to the other. Between the two, in equal parts, they've written things, appeared in newspapers, and taken stages.
We hate each other. As those who need one another often do.
Pic by Asís G. Ayerbe