Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Andrzej Stasiuk, William Faulkner, Rebecca Gablé

De Spaanse schrijver Carlos Ruiz Zafón werd geboren op 25 september 1964 in Barcelona. Zie ook mijn blog van 25 september 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Carlos Ruiz Zafón op dit blog.


Uit: The Prisoner Of Heaven (Vertaald door Lucia Graves)

“That year at Christmas time, every morning dawned laced with frost under leaden skies. A bluish hue tinged the city and people walked by, wrapped up to their ears and drawing lines of vapour with their breath in the cold air. Very few stopped to gaze at the shop window of Sempere & Sons; fewer still ventured inside to ask for that lost book that had been waiting for them all their lives and whose sale, poetic fancies aside, would have contributed to shoring up the bookshop’s ailing finances.

‘I think today will be the day. Today our luck will change,’ I proclaimed on the wings of the first coffee of the day, pure optimism in a liquid state.

My father, who had been battling with the ledger since eight o’clock that morning, twiddling his pencil and rubber, looked up from the counter and eyed the procession of elusive clients disappearing down the street.

‘May heaven hear you, Daniel, because at this rate, if we don’t make up our losses over the Christmas season, we won’t even be able to pay the electricity bill in January. We’re going to have to do something.’

‘Fermín had an idea yesterday,’ I offered. ‘He thinks it’s a briljant plan that’ll save the bookshop from imminent bankruptcy.’

‘Lord help us.’

I quoted Fermín, word for word:

‘Perhaps if by chance I was seen arranging the shop window in my underpants, some lady in need of strong literary emotions would be drawn in and inspired to part with a bit of hard cash. According to expert opinion, the future of literature depends on women and as God is my witness the female is yet to be born who can resist the primal allure of this stupendous physique,’ I recited.

I heard my father’s pencil fall to the floor behind me and I turned round.

‘So saith Fermín,’ I added.”


Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Barcelona, 25 september 1964)

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David Benioff

De Amerikaanse schrijver David Benioff (pseudoniem van David Friedman) werd geboren in New York City op 25 september 1970. Zie ook alle tags voor David Benioff op dit blog.


Uit: City of Thieves


“Off we go, then, on a tour into the haunted theme park of modern European history. It is January 1942, the first winter of what would become a 900-day siege, and David’s grandfather, Lev Beniov, at that time a skinny 17-year-old, is trying to survive on his own. Lev’s mother and sister left Leningrad before the Germans closed in; his father, a Jewish poet, had been arrested by the Soviet secret police four years earlier and was never heard from again. After looting the corpse of a German soldier, Lev himself is arrested and thrown into the city’s huge and silent prison, where he expects to be killed. His cellmate, Kolya, is an insouciant Cossack full of literary pretensions and braggadocio who is in jail for deserting his regiment.
To their infinite surprise, the two young men are sent on a mission instead of being executed. A local army colonel whose daughter is getting married surmises that Lev and Kolya are schooled enough in petty thievery to procure a dozen eggs for the wedding cake. No matter that eggs have not been seen anywhere in Leningrad in months. The lads are given five days, a curfew waiver, and 400 rubles and told that if they fail to deliver the goods, they will be shot.
Talk about your wild goose chase. There are no animals of any kind here; even the pigeons have long since been eaten. In the outdoor food stalls, what’s for sale are pricey glasses of dirt mixed with melted sugar and something called “library candy,” made by boiling the binding glue from books: “[T]here was protein in the glue, protein kept you alive, and the city’s books were disappearing like the pigeons.”



David Benioff (New York, 25 september 1970)