About me

Foto: Miguel Taboada

Marilar Aleixandre

(María Pilar Jiménez Aleixandre, Madrid 1947)

I miss all the cities and towns where I have lived: Ceuta (the lemon tree in our yard); Doña Mencía (setting out at dawn with my father to pick up figs); Madrid (Areneros film club where I first saw Freaks); Vigo (the blooming mimosas in December); Santiago de Compostela if I were ever to leave it, and even other cities where I never or just briefly have lived: Donostia, Perugia, Boston. Thanks to Ramón Facal I have a very particular relationship with Toba, Cee and with the Costa da Morte (Death’s Coast) the imaginary landscape from some of my books as The lame ant or Wolfs in the islands, and I belonged to the Literary Battalion from the Death’s Coast. Later on I was a member of the board of “Letras de cal” and currently I am in the board of “Grial”, the oldest literary and cultural journal in Galicia.

I was fortunate to receive a good rock and roll upbringing attending Ángel Álvarez's «Caravana» in the late 60s; in the week days I studied Biology, and I came to establish a rather intense relationship with beetles. In the first 70’s I began to teach Science, what allow me to buy a motorbike. In 2017 I was appointed a member of the Royal Galician Academy, with a discourse entitled Voices holding up Galician landscape.

Some people believe that writers lead an adventurous life, but I never travelled on a sledge through the Arctic, although I hope to do it some day. Waiting for it I write poems, short stories and novels.

I learned to write –besides reading– by writing pamphlets and articles for journals of underground parties (all of them, when I was studying). My first short story was a vampires' tale, later reworked as «Waiting for the bats» (in the Anthology of Galician fear stories, Galaxia 1996), but it was a time before I published The lame ant.

My first poetry volume, Catálogo de velenos, [Catalogue of poisons], 1999, won the Esquío Poetry Prize. I later published Desmentindo a primavera [Belying Spring], in 2003; Abecedario de árbores [ABC of trees], in 2006, Mudanzas [Shiftings], which was awarded the PEN Clube de Galicia / Caixanova Poetry Prize; Ovella Descarreirada [Stray sheep] in 2014, and my last poetry volume to date, Desescribindo [Unwriting] (Apiario, 2016). I am also recipient of a number of awards to my adults and children fiction and to my translations: The Pacific Expedition, based on a real journey, received the Galician Critics' Literary Award in 1995; The band without a future received the Lazarillo Award in 1998; Medusa’s head the Fundacion Caixa Galicia award and was included in the “White Raven” list; and The Minotaur’s daughter the Rainha Lupa award in 2017. About fiction for adults, A theory of chaos received the Xerais award in 2001.

I am a stubborn traveller and there is an Arab proverb saying: you should not trust travellers because they tell many lies.