Born in 1971 in Santa Fe (Argentina) Raquel Robles lost both her parents when she was five years of age, during the ferocious dictatorship. She is a founding member and one of the most active militants of H.I.J.O.S., the association created by children of “desaparecidos”. A former journalist, she is presently studying educational management and is the director of a institution for delinquent children. Her first novel, Perder, won the Premio Clarín de la Novela in 2008.
Great reviews following the publication in France of Pequeños combatientes. Here are just a few of them.
«Un témoignage-roman émouvant et original sur les années de dictature militaire vues par les yeux d’une enfant pleine d’imagination.» La Croix (lire la suite)
«Un récit poignant parce qu’il est à hauteur d’enfant.» L’Express (lire la suite)
«Elle réussit avec limpidité et brio à transformer l’expérience vécue en littérature.» Le Monde des livres (lire la suite)
«L’enfant solitaire qui doit découvrir et comprendre ce qu’on lui cache, c’est presque un écrivain.» Libération (lire la suite)
«Une chronique touchante d’une enfance rentrée en résistance.» Le Matricule des Anges (lire la suite)
«Haut en couleur et en tendresse.» La semaine (lire la suite)
«Cette force à supporter le drame éblouit le lecteur.» Actualitté (lire la suite)
«Raquel Robles compose un roman subtil qui transcende la gravité contextuelle pour dépeindre, avec une belle finesse littéraire, l’univers effrité de ces petits combattants.» Page des libraires, librairie Georges Talence (lire la suite)
«Un récit où tout le mystère, toute l’horreur, toutes les contradictions de cette époque composent une mélodie à la fois triste et drôle, d’une profonde beauté.» Eduardo Sacheri
A little girl and her younger brother, the children of militants at the time of the dictatorship of the 1970’s, invent all sorts of strategies to conceal the fact that “The Worst” has happened and that their parents have “disappeared”. Two little fighters preparing for the Revolution, they try to come to terms with the fact that their mother and father are gone forever. As time goes by, they will discover that life can still bring them happiness.
Rights sold: France (Liana Levi), Italy (Guanda)
La dieta de las malas noticias
Six brothers ans sisters take turns to look after their ageing mother when she begins to show bad signs of Alhzeimer. The eldest of the six, Paula is as successful professionally – she is the head of the premature birth unit in a hospital – she is a total mess in her love life. The latter she blames on her parents, who illtreated her throughout her childhood. She fled home when she was 17 and hardly ever saw her monther since then. So when her turn comes, having her mother move in with her for two months proves to be particularly difficult experience. Wonderfully written, ironic and moving.
(Alfaguara 2008). It is the poignant story – told in first-person – of a woman’s voyage into the depths of grief and alienation upon losing her five year-old son in a car crash. She becomes completely withdrawn, stops talking to anyone, including her husband, and retreats into reading, in the same order, all the books listed on the last pages of the last book she had read. Her pain is such that she finally accepts to be institutionalized in a mental hospital. There, she comes into contact with another patient, a pianist from Rumania, who is terminally ill. When he dies, she decides to travel to Rumania to find his mother, the only person she thinks might be able to share her grief, as a woman having lost a son. In Bucharest, she stays in a hostal, locked up in her room, reading, although more an more erratically, the books on her list, until she gradually starts opening up to a little boy – an orphan – she sees hanging around the reception desk when she occasionally wanders out. Together with the child and with the mother of the dead pianist, whom she eventually finds, she will begin a slow process towards recovery and will end up forming a new family of sorts.