Books & Books Coral Gables. Sept 17, 2011.
Set against the maze of Madrid’s congested and contested streets, Learning to Lose follows four individuals as they swerve off course in unexpected directions. Each of them is dodging guilt and the fear of failure, but their shared search for happiness, love, purity and redemption, and above all, a way to survive, forms a taut narrative web that binds the characters together. This is the author’s third novel and the first that has been translated into English.
David Trueba was born in Madrid in September of 1969. The youngest of eight brothers, he studied journalism and began to work in press, radio and television. His first credits as a scriptwriter were for Emilio Martinez-Lazaro’s Amo tu cama rica (1992). Later, he studied film at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and upon his return to Spain, consolidated his career as a scriptwriter with Los peores años de mi vida, again under the direction of Emilio Martínez-Lázaro, one of the great hits of 1994. For television, he co-directed El peor programa de la semana with El Gran Wyoming (1993-94).
His work as scriptwriter extends to the films of Fernando Trueba, Alex de la Iglesia, Tony Gatliff and Jose Luis García Sánchez, including titles such as Two Much (1995), Perdita Durango (1997), La niña de tus ojos (1998), Vengo (2000) and the documentary by Carlos Bosch, Balseros (2002) which he also co-produced and is has the distinction of being the only Spanish documentary to date to ever have been nominated for an Academy Award.
In 1996, he launched his career as a film director with La buena vida, presented at the Fortnight of Producers at the Cannes Film Festival and winner of numerous prizes, including the Jury Prize at the Festival of Karlovy Vary. In 2000, he directed his second film, Obra Maestra followed by Soldados de Salamina in 2003, adapted from the novel by Javier Cercas, that received the Un certain regard at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for eight Goya Awards in Spain. In 2006, he directed Bienvenido a casa, which received the prize for Best Direction at the Festival of Malaga, and the film-conversation on Fernando Fernán-Gomez, La silla de Fernando, co-directed with the multi-talented Glad Luis. In 2010, Trueba directed six episodes of the television series ¿Qué fué de Jorge Sanz? His most recent film is Madrid 1987, which he wrote and directed in 2011.
Parallel to his journey in the cinema, Trueba has maintained a literary race and continued his collaborations with the press. There have been two anthologies of his newspaper columns, Artículos de ocasión (Eidtorial Xordia) y Tragarse la lengua (Ediciones B). Currently, he writes a daily column for El País, in Spain. He is the author of three novels, all published by Anagrama and translated into more than 10 languages: Abierto toda la noche (1995), Cuatro Amigos (1999) y Saber perder (2008), that won the National Critic’s Prize for Best Novel and was a finalist for the prestigious Premio Medicis in France.
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