“A person can recover their own life through the memories of another”
Winner of the José Luis Tobalina Journalists’ Prize and the Onuba Novel Award, writer Emilia Luna is promoting her book ‘The Traveller’
Writer Emilia Luna, originally from San Roque and now based in Algeciras, has a long established literary career, mainly in the field of short stories, which have been rewarded with numerous prizes such as El Laurel, Montefrío and Canyada Dárt, the Villa de Mazarrón from the University of Murcia, and awards from the Pablo de Olavide and Cadiz Universities.
Additionally, she has made the finals of around thirty literary competitions such as Puente de Letras, Cuidad Galdós, Obrapropia, Luis del Val and Mundopalabras. In 2012, she won the La Ventana first prize in the category of Christmas Stories (Cadena Ser).
However, she had already reached a certain age, both in literature and in life, when the author of short story books, such as “A Girl’s Eyes Over the Straits” and “The Straits’ Lullaby’s” (illustrated by Algecirean painter Fátima Conesa) embarked on an ambitious adventure of publishing her first novel: “The Traveller”.
She has done so via the Onuba publishing agency, after receiving the Premio de Novela in 2018 by that publisher, and is now glowing like a little girl in a new pair of shoes – intensely enjoying promoting her work, which she has already presented to the public in Algeciras and Sevilla, and which will take her to other corners of the country soon, including Los Barrios, Málaga and even San Feliú de Llobregat.
“Everything happens in its own time, and it looks like maybe my time has come,” the writer said. In the municipality she is known as Emy Luna, the name she uses for her opinion column on Radio Algeciras’ program “Hoy por Hoy”.
Of all the praise she’s received lately – and there’s been a lot – Luna remembers one comment which especially touched her heart.
“During the presentation in Sevilla, where I was introduced by Juan José Téllez, an old teacher of mine and whom I admire a lot, Juan Manuel Suárez Japón, said that my success was down to a combination of tenderness and literary rigour and, honestly, he left me speechless…I could not have imagined a better compliment.”
The concept of time and, specifically, the perception of time passing, is one the cornerstones of Luna’s literature and – it couldn’t be otherwise – one of the fundamental hubs around which the plot of “The Traveler” revolves. “I was interested in telling the story of a person who leads a life that goes unnoticed by others, even by herself, and then rediscovers and recovers her own life through the memories of another person.”
Emilia Luna, who has already started writing her second novel, will always remember the final months of 2018 and early 2019 not only due to the publication of “The Traveller”, but also for having obtained the José Luis Tobalina Prize for Journalistic Articles, which she received in early March in a poetry-filled presentation organized by the José Román Athenaeum and the family of the renowned journalist, where the winner thrilled attendees the same way she does through her articles, with a lively defence of the humanities and its importance in education.
A history graduate and a socio-linguistic diversification teacher in Secondary Education, Luna regrets that, “in the last years, the arts have taken the backseat while subjects related to science and technology, which are orientated toward statistics, production and obtaining material results, are being pushed.”
However, humanities are a weapon for peace, tolerance and respect, and disconnecting our children and adolescents from them is not just an error, but another demonstration of the path this world is headed towards.”