Born in the suburbs of Buenos Aires in 1955, Carlos Bernatek has headed various organizations related to the Ministry of Culture, including the Public Library in Buenos Aires. He has been living for many years in Santa Fe, where he was the subsecretary of Cultural Management of the Province of Santa Fe, before moving back to Buenos Aires, and joining the National Library. He writes as a columnist for a number of cultural supplements, and his novels and short stories have been awarded several major literary prizes in Argentina.
El hombre de Cristal
In the third novel in the Santa Fe Trilogy, Ovidio is no longer the main progagonist. He is, however, the man who will cause the fall of the main character, Jota, a hardworking, modest employee who is his exact opposite.
La Noche litoral
Adriana Hidalgo Ed., 2015, 248 pp
The trials and tribulations of Ovidio, a small-time crook in a small Argentinian town. A gritty, unforgiving yet humorous novel in the best picaresque tradition of Latin-American fiction.
(Grupo Editorial Norma, Aug. 2011, 240 p.). Bernatek returns to one of his favorite themes: his main protagonist is a man who starts from scratch under a new identity – that of a man killed in an accident –, moving away to a decadent town on the coast, totally freed from all previous ties and reinventing a new life for himself. As he wanders around desolate beaches, he recalls his adolescence, and death of a Jewish girl he knew, whose brutal murder seems to have been related to Rudolf Eichmann.
Rights sold: France (L’Olivier)
Rencores de provincia
Adriana Hidalgo Ed., 2008. 320 p.
On his way to Danel, Leopoldo, an unemployed book salesman whose wife has left him for another man, meets an evangelist preacher and takes up a job as a Bible vendor. But the preacher turns out to be a swindler, conning locals into investing in an artificial beach on the outskirts of town, and he will draw Leopold into this huge embezzlement scheme.
Bernatek could turn out to be new Osvaldo Soriano, although with a less burlesque, more ironic voice, both terse and humorous.
Rights sold: French (L’Olivier)