Saturday, November 27

A set of mirrors – Information

A set of mirrors

El 53 de Gilmore Place, the second novel by Jesús Zomeño published by the Valencian Ediciones Contrabando, whose cover illustration is by the artist Carlos Michel Fuentes, draws on this hybridization of literature. We are facing a work where genres intersect as much as the characters that populate it. Zomeño has more than demonstrated that he is a narrator with his own voice, recognizable by the treatment of the characters and the situations that they have to live. Novels or collections of stories have their stamp, he is an author of race, of the old ones, if he were a filmmaker, he could be a Tarantino, someone who tells you a story of the absurd. Jesus tells from less to more, the most insignificant detail, such as the way the protagonist has to eat a lasagna, how he suffers workplace harassment by his corrupt colleagues and bosses.

In this novel the action takes place this time in Spain and Scotland, between the policeman’s first and second trip to Kaunas. While he is involved in a strange investigation of a murder committed in Edinburgh in World War II, our protagonist, to escape the squalor that surrounds him, creates a kind of literary alter ego whose adventures run parallel to his own, which will create a game of mirrors in which the limits between reality and fiction will become more and more imprecise, until reaching a surprising and splendid ending.

Gilmore Place 53 is a cop novel but not purely a detective story. As in everything that Jesus writes, the context and the subtext are what drive the plot. As in any hybridization or fusion, as it is called in music, this work drinks from culturalism to pop, passing through classic black film, but breaking the clichés; the character is not an alcoholic, he is a being possessed by gluttony. The novel takes us where the author wants and masterfully shows us what we must see at all times.

Jesús Zomeño was born in Alcaraz (Albacete) in 1964. He currently resides in Elche. He is editor of the poetry collection Diarios de Helena and has published the following short story books: Blue tongue (Sloper, 2008), Wet matches (Denes, 2012), Black stones (Lengua de Trapo, 2014), De este pan y de this war (Contrabando, 2016), Querido fear (Sloper, 2016), Guerra y pan (Contrabando, 2017) and the anthology of stories Metralla (Alud editorial, 2019). The book De este pan y de esta guerra was awarded the 2017 Valencian Literary Criticism Prize. El cielo de Kaunas (Contrabando, 2018) was his first novel.

We are facing the second novel by Jesús Zomeño, one of the most unique narrators and with one of the most personal and recognizable voices in current narrative. Gilmore Place 53 is another twist on the black genre, so fashionable and saturated today. Jesus leaves his mark, he is not satisfied with what they have told and how others have told it. Zomeño navigates, as in his stories, between the darkness of the human soul and the rotten society of the protagonists. This metaliterary work is also a song of love for literary creation and its nooks and crannies. This is a well-constructed, entertaining novel that also traces a subtle and veiled critique of nationalisms, so fashionable today. The 53 of Gilmore Place is the sample of the solidity as author of Jesús Zomeño, one of the great Valencian storytellers.

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