Samanta Schweblin : when your pet becomes a spy
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With her bestselling novel Little Eyes, Samanta Schweblin now has a follow-up to her multi-award-winning short story collections and her previous bestseller, Fever Dream. In a conversation with writer Hannah Roels, she talks about this new book and the far-reaching impact of social media on our lives.
Queen of the short story
The Argentinian Samanta Schweblin (b. 1978) has been living in Berlin for years, but returns to Latin America regularly. In the Spanish-speaking world, she is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, short-story writer of her generation. She has written several award-winning collections of short stories, and her novel Fever Dream received many awards, was nominated for the International Man Booker Prize, and will soon be the subject of a Netflix series.
Schweblin’s recent novel Little Eyes is about social media and oversharing. In the book, people all over the world start acquiring ‘kentukis’ – cute surrogate pets that provide companionship. But the cuddly toys are remotely controlled by people you don’t know who can see into your living room. In Spain, Little Eyes won the Mandarache Prize, which is awarded by young readers aged between 15 and 30.
Schweblin is a masterful storyteller who uses thriller elements in Little Eyes to draw readers in. Meanwhile, she dissects our strange, globalized world in which we find it increasingly difficult to hide things from one another.
Passa Porta, Meridiaan