David Torres (Madrid, 1966) is a writer and a journalist. He has a weekday column in the daily Público (www.publico.es), and writes frequently for the newspapers El Mundo/ El Día de Baleares and for ‘El viajero’, the weekly travel supplement printed by yet another paper, El País.
He has worked as a screenwriter for Spanish national television's programme 'Al filo de lo imposible’.
He was runner-up for the Nadal Prize with his novel El gran silencio, published by Destino (2003), the first of a crime series featuring ex-boxer Roberto Esteban, that follows with Niños de tiza (Algaida, 2008).
Punto de fisión was also published by Algaida in 2011 and won 3 prizes.
Todos los buenos soldados (2014) and El mar en ruinas (2005) were published by Destino.
His first novel, Nanga Parbat (Desnivel, 1999), won the First Prize Desnivel of Literature, Mountain, Travels & Adventure. His last book, Por orden de desaparición, has been published in March 2017 by Sloper.
His new work Palos de ciego, has been published by Círculo de Tiza in November 2017.
His new novel, Libro de familia, will be published by Algaida in March 2018.
Currently, David Torres is writing the first novel of the crime series featuring ex-boxer Roberto Esteban, that started with El gran silencio, followed by Niños de tiza.
Palos de ciego (Círculo de Tiza, October 2017)
When doing research for a novel about the Stalinist massacre of blind poets in Ukraine in the nineteen thirties, David Torres discovered that very few records had been kept on the incident. The investigation he then initiated took him much farther than he’d anticipated: a journey into a shady history and his own past, lit by the totem of a stillborn older brother. A host of shadows and personal memories march by under Stalin’s ubiquitous shadow: composer Dmitri Shostakovich, pianist Maria Yudina and poets Ossip Mandeshtam and Anna Ajmátova, among other characters. Palos de ciego is a hybrid book that delves into the mystery of memories and propagandistic lies, the limits of fiction and the difficult search for truth: an inquiry to commemorate the first centenary of the Russian revolution from a very original perspective.
Punto de fusión (Algaida, 2011, 372 pages)
Logroño Prize for Best Novel 2011
‘Stories are made from bits of other stories.’ Like Frankenstein’s monster, Julia’s tattooed body or the double helix of DNA, this book is the sum of many parts, different stories that merge to take on new life.
One: Sergei, a child who survived the Chernobyl disaster, is forced by the Ukrainian mafia to return to recover refugees’ personal items left behind in the exclusion zone.
Two: Matas, a hypochondriac publisher, suffers an erectile dysfunction and from then on everything seems to go wrong for him.
Three: After surviving a lightning strike, Leonardo Zubiri becomes a successful author able to concoct strange stories where Franco is confounded with Frankenstein and world history is configured around the disputes among apartment building occupants.
And four: Rodríguez, a police detective, follows the trail of a senseless terrorist group.
Against the backdrop of a chaotic Madrid, its statue of Cybele decapitated by an explosion and the city threatened by a cocky Madrilenian secessionist party (PICHY), these four apparently unconnected stories intertwine in a bold counterpoint to ultimately converge as a single narrative: a generous homage to literature and the blind urge to tell stories.
Niños de tiza (Algaida, 2008, 416 pages)
Tigre Juan Prize 2008 and Hammet Prize 2009
Ex-boxer Roberto Esteban’s return to the neighbourhood where he lived as a child awakens his memories: street games, lost friends, the urban myth of the ‘black hand’ and the embers of an old impossible flame, Lola. Over them all floats the memory of Gema, the mermaid, a disabled girl who drowned in the municipal pool. The mystery of her long past death revives in the midst of a criminal scheme involving land re-zoning in Olympian Madrid and childhood friends and enemies with whom Roberto Esteban will play yet another game of cops and robbers, this time as a matter of life and death.
El mar en ruinas (Destino, 2005, 304 pages)
In El mar en ruinas David Torres describes Odysseus’s life and the lives of characters such as Penelope and Telemachus after the hero’s return from the Trojan War. The story is fraught with new difficulties and misfortunes for its protagonist.
El mar en ruinas is both the continuation of the tale of the King of Ithaca and a much more humane and less mythical version of the Odyssey in which the characters shed their paradigmatic personalities to acquire more authentic and complex psychologies.
This novel on the Odyssey pries brilliantly into power, ambition, madness and the forging of legends.
El gran silencio (Destino, 2003, 270 pages)
Runner-up, Nadal Prize, 2003
Roberto Esteban, a retired boxer who once came within inches of glory, earns a living as a hired thug. His only friends are a laconic waiter and a tiny Siamese fighting fish, his only entertainments boxing and the obsessive re-listening to Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major.
When Esteban accepts a job to protect a young ballerina who’s received death threats, he is dragged into an obscure quest in which a lame Flamenco dancer, a dogfight-loving dwarf and a shady art dealer form a chorus against which the boxer is pitted, as his past comes back to haunt him. The Greek labyrinthic myth, the chiaroscuros of crime fiction, the splendour of dance and the boxing epic are intertwined in a plot spattered with violence and sarcastic humour, but also with a desperate sort of lyricism in which broken promises are kept in line with an incorruptible slum neighbourhood ethic.