David Toscana was born in Monterrey in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo León in 1961. After leaving school, he qualified as an engineer and worked in Ciudad Juárez. He started to write at the age of 29. His literary influences, in terms of reading for enjoyment’s sake, were classic Spanish writers like Cervantes and Calderón as well as classic Russian writers, but in terms of the obsession with writing itself, he was influenced by the new Latin American writers Juan Carlos Onetti and José Donoso.
David Toscana describes his narrative aesthetics as ´realismo desquiciado´ (t: unrestrained realism) which breaks with magic realism. Neither rhyme nor reason determine his protagonists’ actions – what goes on in their world takes place in the imagination alone, albeit as an exchange between life and fiction unfolding on more than one level. "When writing, what is important for me is keeping an eye on the concrete experience of life," states the author, who puts himself in the place of his protagonists and strives to understand what is personally at risk for them so as to bring the situation back into the very uncertain realm of everyday life. He developed his literary sense for atmosphere through Onetti and Juan Rulfo, and for the lavishly strange through Donoso. Toscana’s first novel ´Las bicicletas´ (t: The Bicycles) was published in 1992 and opened with the laconic sentence: "The path to the cemetery was long." He thereby immediately placed himself in the Mexican literary tradition that incorporates the death motif, which, as a regional writer, he sees as situated in the barren north. This was followed in 1995 by ´Estación Tula´ (Tula Station, 2000), which was also translated into Arabic, English, Greek and Serbian. In 1997 he published the short-story volume ´Historias de Lontananza´ (t: Stories of Distance), followed in 1998 by his third novel ´Santa María del Circo´ (Our Lady of the Circus, 2001). His fourth and most recent novel ´Duelo por Miguel Pruneda´ (t: Lament for Miguel Pruneda) appeared in 2002. International literary critics have praised his works of prose for the at times biting irony that gives authentic depth to the failure and solitude of his protagonists: "There is a very rich source in my region which no one else has really tapped, which is why I feel so good about working in my own storehouse, bringing forth lots of untold stories." Since July 2003 David Toscana has lived in Berlin, where he holds a guest scholarship from the DAAD.
Author: International Festival of Literature Berlin (ilb)
Los Puentes de Konigsberg / Konigsberg´s Bridges
Spanish edition. Alfaguara; Tra edition
El ejército iluminado
Spanish publication: Siempre! (Magazine). Thomson Gale
El Ultimo Lector/ the Last Reader
Spanish Edition. Random House Mondadori
Duelo por Miguel Pruneda
Plaza y Janes: Mexiko
Santa María del Circo
Plaza y Janés: Mexiko
Historias del Lontananza
J. Mortiz: Mexiko