Mónica Rodríguez: “Science and literature are part of the same search”

He is a specialist in Nuclear Energy and has won the Edebé Prize for Children’s Literature for King, the story of a boy who runs away from home and survives thanks to a dog. The awards accrue to Mónica Rodríguez (Oviedo, 1969), a prolific author of children’s and youth literature.

What book made you a reader? There is not just one book, there are many. But the first one I remember is an old edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories with illustrations that fascinated and terrified me at the same time.

And as a writer? Lorca’s poetry discovered on my grandfather’s shelves in my teens. poetry in general.

And the last book you liked? Memoirs of a young catholic, by Mary McCarthy

What is your favorite (alien) children’s book? Only one? Impossible. the paths of the moonby Juan Farias lili freedomby Gonzalo Moure, Behind the horizon is the seaby Jutta Richter Ulysses’ stowaway, by Ana María Matute… to name just a few. And she would follow.

And juvenile? Impossible also to opt for just one: The feast of death of Jesus Diez de Palma, How Justin Case Cheated Fate, by Meg Rossoff, The call of the wild by Jack London…

What three virtues should a good children’s book have? Truth, quality and emotion

And a youthful one? Truth, quality and emotion

What three books of children’s literature published in the 21st century should not be missed by anyone interested, regardless of their age? That depends on each reader, there is very good current children’s literature in Spain. I randomly select three that I love and that are very different (in addition to the ones mentioned above): Mossby David Cirici Barracuda’s Treasurefrom Llanos Campo, A thread binds me to youby Beatriz Giménez de Ory (poetry).

And what about the youth? I insist that it depends on the taste and maturity of the reader. Among the many possibilities, I write down three very different ones that come to mind. If you ask me tomorrow, I’ll still list others: The dry branch of the cherry treeby Rafael Salmeron wolfby Veronica Murgia, Damn 16 by Nando López (theater).

Which of the two “audiences” is more demanding? They are both demanding. They have their particularities, but they equally demand that the story catches them and that they be respected as readers.

What did you learn as a physicist from your interest in literature? And vice versa? That both, science and literature, are part of the same quest to understand the world and understand each other, that they are complementary, but curiously include each other, science is part of literature and literature contains science.

If she wasn’t a writer or a scientist, she would have liked to be… Teacher.

Thinking of KingWhat should humans learn from animals? Compassion beyond species, fidelity, care for the group, the fullness of the present…

Is teaching the classics to blame for teenagers stopping reading? No. There are many ways to teach the classics. I think the problem is with society as a whole: the quick and superficial rewards, the low tolerance for effort, the competition with new technologies and series, the lack of examples, the lack of reading references, the scarcity of time , the need for socialization of adolescents, the absence of the role of books in schools and institutes as the backbone (libraries with librarians in all centers, time for reading, etc.), institutional support…

As the author of sand and waterWhat did you think when you heard about change of policy of Spain on the Sahara? That once again the government (or a part) betrays a brother nation with whom we have a historical and moral debt, against the majority position of the civil population.

What is the movie you have seen the most times? all that jazz and The dark side of the Heart, I have seen them both many times.

If you had to use a song or piece of music as a self-portrait, what would it be? A waltz by Johan Strauss (father or son).

What is socially overrated? The success.

Who would you give the next Nobel Prize for Literature to? To Cormac McCarthy.

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Mónica Rodríguez: “Science and literature are part of the same search”