Writer in residence program 2018
Rodrigo Blanco Calderón as WiR in Amsterdam
7 Mar-7 April
In March and April 2018 Venezuelan author Rodrigo Blanco Calderón will be working and living as a writer-in-residence in Amsterdam, upon invitation by the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
Rodrigo Blanco Calderón (1981) is a writer and publisher from Caracas, Venezuela. His short stories won several prizes and in 2009 he was proclaimed one of the best young Latin-American writers at the Hay Festival in Bogotá. In his debut novel The Night, which was named after a song by American indie rock-band Morphine, Blanco Calderón writes about many subjects: his country’s recent history, philosophy, language, and language games. Fact and fiction often get tangled, but ultimately the novel is mostly a critique on Venezuela’s current regime.
The Dutch translation of Blanco Calderón’s debut, which was published in Fall 2017 (De Bezige Bij; translation by Arie van der Wal), was well received.
During his residency Blanco Calderón will be working on his second novel, The Year of Mercy; the second part of a fictional portrait about the recent history of Venezuela that started with The Night. The Year of Mercy tells the story of Merlina Oñisanti, a gifted young medium guided by the spirit of Hélène Smith, the famous medium who was praised by figures in the surrealist movement, most notably André Breton. Because of her clairvoyance, a medley of political intrigues, spiritual battles and apocalyptic fears ensues in an era which can be described in J.M. Coetzee’s term as a post-religious age.