Finally, Amazon has rescued Spanish-language books from its super-confusing Foreign Books page (you had to leaf through endless Shakespeare works to get to anything actually foreign) and created a Kindle Store for books in Spanish.
When I saw that store, however, I wished it hadn’t been created. The store promotes two authors: Paulo Coelho, whose connection to the Spanish language I still have not been able to discover, and Isabel Allende, a writer who is as lacking in talent as she is rich in followers. Other than that, all that the store seems to promote are translations of very silly bestsellers.
The bestselling Spanish titles section is dominated by books written by somebody called Suzanne Collins. Apparently, this Collins person is the ultimate in Spanish-language writing.
There is also a huge bunch of religious books by English-speaking experts in brainwashing.
If you dig around, you’ll find a lot of books by Vargas Llosa. Unfortunately, they are only sold in English translation.
It is beyond annoying that one can never find a place where books by Spanish-language writers in Spanish appear by themselves, without translations of English-language bestsellers overrunning the place. Even if you go directly to the webpages of Spanish publishing houses, you have to struggle for hours to make your way out of all kinds of garbage by Nicholas Sparks and Co.
This is really annoying, given that authors who write in English are not producing anything that could even begin to compete in quality with literature by today’s writers from Spain. (Feel free to argue with me but I’ll expect a list of titles that were released in Spanish and English in 2011 that you have read.)
And please don’t tell me that these Stockett and Sparks individuals dominate the list of Spanish bestsellers because that’s what people want to read. I’m a specialist in Contemporary Spanish literature and I have to dig around endlessly to find good Spanish novels under the rubble of these Collinses-Schmollinses that websites keep pushing in my face. People read Coelho and Allende because nobody even tells them that these writers are total crap and that real literature exists in the world. Do you know how many times I’ve had to reveal to people that Allende is a crappy author? I always offer a list of good writers people can read instead of this peddler of stupidity, and everybody thanks me for it.