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Ana María Shua

Ana María Shua
BornAna María Schoua
(1951-04-22) April 22, 1951 (age 73)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
OccupationWriter, illustrator
Alma materUniversity of Buenos Aires
Notable awardsGuggenheim Fellowship
SpouseSilvio Fabrykant
ChildrenGabriela Fabrykant
Paloma Fabrykant
Vera Fabrykant

Ana María Shua (born 22 April 1951) is an Argentine writer. She is particularly well known for her work in microfiction.

Shua has published over eighty books in numerous genres including novels, short stories, microfiction, poetry, drama, children's literature, books of humor and Jewish folklore, anthologies, film scripts, journalistic articles, and essays.[1] She has received numerous national and international awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is one of Argentina's premier living writers.[1][2][3][4]

She has been referred to as the "Queen of the Micro-Story" in the world of Spanish literature.[5]


Early life and education

Born Ana María Schoua (the original spelling for her surname) in Buenos Aires in 1951,[6] Shua became interested in writing at a young age, inspired by books such as Black Beauty.[7] She published her first book on poetry, El sol y yo, in 1967 when she was only a sixteen-year-old student at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires,[8] having won a prize from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes that paid for the printing of 1,000 copies.[6] The collection won the "Faja de Honor" award given by the Argentine Society of Writers.[9][3][10]

Shua studied at the University of Buenos Aires and obtained a degree in education, specializing in literature.[11][12]


During the last military dictatorship in Argentina, often called the National Reorganization Process, Shua took a boat to Europe and went into exile in France, part of a wave of exiled political figures and intellectuals. Her sister and her two cousins were also exiled.[13] She lived in Paris from 1976 to 1977, working for the Spanish magazine Cambio 16.[14][15]

Return to Argentina and literary success

Once back in Argentina, Shua published her first novel: Soy paciente, released in 1980, for which she won an award given by the Losada publishing house.[16] The book is often read as a metaphor for the military dictatorship, which was still in power at the time.[17]

The following year she published her first short-story collection, Los días de pesca, followed in 1984 by her first commercial success, the novel Los amores de Laurita.[18] That same year, she published La sueñera, her first collection of microfiction—the extremely short stories that would become her signature, also sometimes known in English as "flash fiction."[19] Shua had been working on La sueñera for 10 years before it was published.[20]

Since then, she has published the works of microfiction Casa de Geishas, Botánica del caos, Temporada de fantasmas, Cazadores de letras (a compilation that includes her first four microfiction collections), and Fenómenos de circo.[21] In explaining her affection for the genre, Shua has said:

"I really like to feel that I am inside a text in which every word is essential, in which rhythm and sound are as important as meaning and cannot be separated."[22]

She has also described the super-short format as requiring authors "to work with the knowledge of the reader, like in martial arts, where you take advantage of the force of your opponent."[23]

In 1994, she was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship to write her novel El libro de los recuerdos, which tells the story of a Jewish family in Argentina,[16] somewhat based on her own family's history.[13]

Shua has worked as a journalist, a publicist, and a screenwriter, adapting some of her writings, including Los amores de Laurita, directed by Antonio Ottone.[24] She also co-wrote the script for the Juan José Jusid's film Where Are You My Love, That I Cannot Find You?[25] Shua has also written books for children[9] and works of humor and folklore, including El pueblo de los tontos, the first Spanish-language telling of the traditional Jewish Chełm stories.[16]

A complete collection of her stories was published in 2009 under the title Que tengas una vida interesante,[26] and an English translation of some of her stories was published the same year under the title Microfictions.[27] Other English translations include The Book of Memories, Quick Fix, and Circus Freaks.[28]

Awards and recognition

Ana María Shua
Ana María Shua being interviewed for the documentary film En el nombre del padre.

Among Shua's honors include her two awards for El sol y yo, her award for Soy paciente, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. She also received honors from the Banco del Libro and International Board on Books for Young People for her children's book La fábrica del terror,[22][29] and first place in the stories category for her book Fenómenos de circo from the Argentine Ministry of Culture.[30]

Her 1997 novel La muerte como efecto secundario was included on the International Congress of the Spanish Language's list of the 100 best Spanish novels of the quarter-century.[31]

Shua was the recipient of the first Juan José Arreola Ibero-American Prize for Mini-Fiction in 2016.[32]

Personal life

Shua's parents were Jewish, of Polish and Lebanese origin,[13] although her father was a militant atheist and she was raised largely without religion. But, Shua has said, "To be Jewish you don't have to study, nor believe, nor know anything in particular: it is not something that you choose," and Jewish themes have appeared occasionally in her work.[6]

As a fiction writer, Shua has said she avoids reading nonfiction, including reviews and literary criticism of her own work.[22]

She is married to the architect and photographer Silvio Fabrykant, whom she wed in 1975.[33] The couple has three children: Gabriela, Vera, and Paloma Fabrykant.[34]



  • Soy paciente (translated as Patient, 1980)
  • Los amores de Laurita (1984)
  • El libro de los recuerdos (The Book of Memories, 1994)
  • La muerte como efecto secundario (Death as a Side Effect, 1997)
  • El peso de la tentación (2007)
  • Nemo (2003)

Short story collections

  • Los días de pesca (1981)
  • Viajando se conoce gente (1988)
  • Como una buena madre (2001)
  • Historias verdaderas (2004)

Microfiction collections

  • La sueñera (1984)
  • Casa de geishas (1992)
  • Botánica del caos (2000)
  • Temporada de fantasmas (Ghost Season, 2004)
  • Quick fix (2008)
  • Cazadores de Letras (2009)
  • Microfictions (2009)
  • Fenómenos de circo (Circus Freaks, 2011)

Children's books

  • La batalla de los elefantes y los cocodrilos (1988)
  • La fábrica del terror (1991)
  • La puerta para salir del mundo (1992)
  • Cuentos judíos con fantasmas y demonios (1994)
  • Ani salva a la perra Laika (1996)
  • Historia de un cuento (1998)
  • Cuentos con magia (1999)
  • La luz mala (2000)
  • Los monstruos del Riachuelo (2001)
  • Planeta miedo (2002)
  • Su primera zanahoria (2005)
  • Un ciervo muy famoso (2005)

Humorous fiction

  • El marido argentino promedio (1991)
  • Risas y emociones en la cocina judía (2003)

Poetry collections

  • El sol y yo (1967)

Movie scripts

  • Soy paciente (1986)
  • Los amores de Laurita (1986)
  • ¿Dónde estás amor de mi vida que no te puedo encontrar? (1992)


  • En el nombre del padre. Contrakultura, 2002. Biographical sketch of Argentine short-story writer Ana María Shua. Produced by Eduardo Montes-Bradley[21]


  1. ^ a b "Ana María Shua". Words Without Borders. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  2. ^ "Ana María Shua - Imaginaria No. 31 - 9 de agosto de 1999". Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  3. ^ a b "Bio: Ana María Shua". The International Literary Quarterly. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  4. ^ "Ana María Shua". Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  5. ^ Clarí (25 September 2017). "Ana María Shua, la reina del microrrelato". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  6. ^ a b c Ruiz-Bravo, Coral Cenizo (2018). "Entrevista a Ana María Shua". Microtextualidades: Revista Internacional de microrrelato y minificción. 3.
  7. ^ "Ana María Shua". Imaginaria. 2000-08-09. Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  8. ^ "Ana María Shúa será jurado de la primera edición de los Premios María Elena Walsh". Asociación de Ex Alumnos del Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  9. ^ a b Shua, Ana María, 1951- (August 2016). La fábrica del terror 1. Sanzol, Jorge (1a ed.). Buenos Aires. ISBN 978-950-07-5633-4. OCLC 987436420.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Cook, Alyce (2003). "Review: All Facets of Ana María Shua's Creative World Reviewed Work: El río de los sueños: Interamer. 70. Organización de los Estados Americanos by Rhonda Dahl Buchanan". Confluencia. 19 (1). University of Northern Colorado: 191–193. JSTOR 27922969.
  11. ^ "Shua, Ana María". Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  12. ^ Agins Lincow, Jamie (2018). La distopía en las novelas de Ana María Shua. Madrid. ISBN 978-84-946301-8-7. OCLC 1077775660.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  13. ^ a b c Silvia G. Dapía, "Polish and Jewish Identities in the Narratives of Ana María Shua", Polish American Studies Vol. 65, No. 2 (Autumn, 2008), University of Illinois Press pp. 53-69.
  14. ^ Buchanan, Rhonda Dahl (1998). "Narrating Argentina's "Epoca del Miedo" in Ana María Shua's "El libro de los recuerdos"". Confluencia. 13 (2): 84–91. ISSN 0888-6091. JSTOR 27922623.
  15. ^ "The Short Fiction of Ana María Shua: A Bilingual Reading and Conversation". Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  16. ^ a b c Sadow, Stephen (2012). "An Interview with Ana Maria Shua". Northeastern University Library.
  17. ^ Friera, Silvina (2017-06-26). ""No hay nada que parezca más trágico que un cómico" | Ana María Shua y Florencia Bendersky hablan de Soy paciente". PAGINA12. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  18. ^ RADIO 5 (2015-12-24). "Ana María Shua, escritora". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-11.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  19. ^ (April 2011). "Shua, Ana María". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  20. ^ FERRERO, ADRIÁN; Shúa, Ana María (2016). "Ana María Shúa". Hispamérica. 45 (135): 73–82. ISSN 0363-0471. JSTOR 44507845.
  21. ^ a b "Ana María Shua". Archived from the original on 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
  22. ^ a b c "Grafemas Diciembre 2008: Entrevista". Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  23. ^ Gallego-Díaz, Soledad (2009-04-10). "La minificción tiene posibilidades infinitas". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  24. ^ Los amores de Laurita (1986) - Ficha técnica, Sinopsis, Imágenes, Trailer, Actores, Cast |, retrieved 2020-09-11
  25. ^ Jusid, Juan José (1992-08-06), ¿Dónde estás amor de mi vida que no te puedo encontrar? (Drama, Romance), Susú Pecoraro, Oscar Martínez, Fernando Siro, Luisina Brando, retrieved 2020-09-11
  26. ^ "El prólogo de Que tengas una vida interesante". Eterna Cadencia (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  27. ^ "Book Page : Nebraska Press". Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  28. ^ "Results for 'ana maria shua' > 'Ana María Shua' > 'English' []". Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  29. ^ "ANA MARÍA SHUA | ALIBRATE". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  30. ^ "Se entregaron los Premios Nacionales a la producción cultural 2010-2013". Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  31. ^ Campos Acero, Carlos. "Píldoras literarias. Hoy, con "100", de Ana María Shu". La Provincia. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  32. ^ "Ana María Shua gana el primer oro de la cortísima distancia". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). 2016-10-14. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
  33. ^ Clarí (9 May 2015). "Mundos íntimos: ¿Cuántas neuronas pierde mi hija en cada pelea?". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-10.
  34. ^ "Soy inocente en literatura, pero no en la vida". La Capital. Retrieved 2020-09-11.
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Ana María Shua
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