Elena Santiago

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Elena Santiago
Santiago in 2008
Santiago in 2008
Elena Fernández Gómez

(1941-02-08)8 February 1941
Died3 January 2021(2021-01-03) (aged 79)
Valladolid, Spain
Years active1973–2019
Websitewww.elenasantiago.es Edit this at Wikidata

Elena Fernández Gómez (8 February 1941 – 3 January 2021), known by the pen name Elena Santiago, was a Spanish writer of novels, short stories and children's literature. She was the recipient of honors such as the Rosa Chacel Award, the 1999 Province of Valladolid Literary Prize, and the Castile and León Award for Letters [es].[1][2]


Santiago was born in Veguellina de Órbigo [es], Province of León, where her father, Apolinar Fernández Santiago, was a physician for more than 40 years.[3] Her mother "despite many busy hours, read very continuously, and that was a tireless source of wonders, reading and writing."[4] Her early education was in her home town, and at the age of nine, she continued her studies in León, at the Colegio de la Asunción.[5] Santiago then began teacher training and took Literature Studies, first in León and then in Madrid, where she "changed her life".[6] From the beginning she wanted to dedicate herself to writing, painting, playing the piano, studying languages, and letters. Santiago began publishing in her teens.[7]

Her first two publications, selected by Temas magazine, were short stories entitled "El Hijo" and "Historia sobre el terremoto de Perú". From then, she continued to publish poetry, short stories, poetic prose, novels, and children's literature.[8]

I write and write. My memory does not stop and my time does not either. Whether it is journalism or literature (my mind chooses some imagined variants) it accompanies me in everything that is life. The language. Seeing beyond ... and the thought and the sensations, ready.

— Elena Santiago[4]

Santiago began receiving awards with her first publications in 1973. Her first three novels, La oscuridad somos nosotros (1976), Ácidos días (1979), and Gente oscura (1980), received, respectively, the City of Irún, Novelas y Cuentos, and Miguel Delibes Awards. In her literary career she alternated novels with short stories, dedicating periods to the latter genre "out of the need to tell stories."[9] Some of her short stories were collected under the title Lo tuyo soy yo in 2004.[10]

She spent eight years to 2009 writing children's literature, during which period she experienced health and family problems. This writing was recognized with honors including the Rosa Chacel Award[11] and the Castile and León Award for Letters [es].[1] In 2009 she wrote La muerte y las cerezas.[12]

She died at the age of 79 on 3 January 2021 in Valladolid, Spain.[13][14]

Study of her literary work[edit]

Santiago's work has been studied in the context of the Congress of Contemporary Literature[15] and as a 20th-century women novelist.[16] It is the subject of the doctoral thesis by Muriel Taján, with the title Mythe personnel et écriture dans l'oeovre d'Elena Santiago, Évolutions et involutions d'une quête de l'absante (2009).[17] Taján also authored the prologue to the novel Nunca el ovido, which Santiago published in 2015, after a gap of six years.[18]

Collective works[edit]

Santiago collaborated on collective works, such as Cuentos de este siglo, Cien años de cuento, El Faro, Miguel Delibes, and Jorge Guillén. She participated with 15 other authors in the project Contemos la Navidad, an anthology of stories and Christmas illustrations in homage to Antonio Pereira [es], which is published annually.[19] The project is coordinated by José Ignacio García García [es]. The 2013 edition was a tribute to Santiago in which her daughter and granddaughter, who is the author of one of the stories, participated.[20] Another project on which Santiago collaborated compiles traditional folktales narrated by voices of Castile and León.[21] She also contributed to the collective book Inmenso estrecho. Cuentos sobre inmigración (2005), contains the story "Finalmente, ¿una oscuridad?", a work in solidarity with immigrants in which she advocates the need to move towards a multicultural society.[22]


  • Un camino amarillo, La última puerta, Las horas quietas y Cada invierno (1973–1975), short stories[23]
  • La oscuridad somos nosotros (1976)[24]
  • Un mundo detrás de la puerta, El ruido, Antes de cerrar la puerta (1977), short stories[23]
  • Ácidos días (1979)[23]
  • Gente oscura (1980)[23]
  • Una mujer malva (1980)[23]
  • Manuela y el mundo (1983)[23]
  • Alguien sube (1985)[23]
  • Relato con lluvia (1986), short stories[23]
  • Veva (1988)[23]
  • El amante asombrado (1994)[23]
  • Amor quieto (1997)[23]
  • Cuentos (1997)[23]
  • Ángeles oscuros (1998)[23]
  • Un susto azul (1998), short stories[23]
  • Asomada al invierno (2001)[11]
  • Olas bajo la ciudad (2003), short stories[23]
  • Sueños de mariposa negra (2003), children's literature[23]
  • Lo tuyo soy yo (2004)[25]
  • La muerte y las cerezas (2009)[26]
  • Nunca el olvido (2015)[23]
  • Mat y Pat. Vuelos de niño (2018), children's literature[23]
  • Los delirios de Andrea (2019)[23]

Awards and recognitions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Premio Castilla y León de las Letras 2002" [2002 Castile and León Award for Letters] (in Spanish). Council of Castile and León. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  2. ^ "La escritora leonesa Elena Santiago leerá el documento el lunes en la campa" [The Leonés Writer Elena Santiago Will Read the Document on Monday in the Campaign]. ABC (in Spanish). 21 April 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. ^ Álvarez Prado, Emilio (10 June 2003). "El Ayuntamiento nombrará hija predilecta a la escritora Elena Santiago" [The Council Will Name the Writer Elena Santiago Favorite Daughter]. Diario de León (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b "'Mi memoria no cesa y mi tiempo tampoco'" ['My Memory Does Not Stop and My Time Does Not Either']. Diario de León (in Spanish). 23 April 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Biografía". Elena Santiago Official Website (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2021. y a los nueve a un colegio donde aprendí el miedo y la tristeza al no estar con la familia.
  6. ^ "Biografía". Elena Santiago Official Website (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2021. Me cambió totalmente la vida al ir a Madrid.
  7. ^ "Elena Santiago" (in Spanish). Rimpego. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Fallece a los 79 años la escritora leonesa Elena Santiago". ABC (in Spanish). 4 January 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  9. ^ Gancedo, E (19 February 2004). "Elena Santiago: «Mis cuentos son la vida, no son ajenos al hombre»". Diario de León (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2021. necesidad de contar historias
  10. ^ Gancedo, E. (19 February 2004). "Elena Santiago: 'Mis cuentos son la vida, no son ajenos al hombre'" [Elena Santiago: 'My Stories are Life; They Are Not Alien to Man']. Diario de León (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Obiol, Maria José (23 February 2002). "La fortuna del tiempo lento" [The Fortune of Slow Time]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Elena Santiago reaparece hoy con 'La muerte y las cerezas', un ensayo sobre la fragilidad y el amor" [Elena Santiago Reappears Today with 'La muerte y las cerezas', an Essay About Fragility and Love]. Diario de León (in Spanish). EFE. 8 May 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  13. ^ Warner, Amelia (3 January 2021). "Writer Elena Santiago Dies At 79". We Publish News. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  14. ^ "Muere a los 79 años la escritora leonesa Elena Santiago". El Mundo (in Spanish). 3 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Literatura actual en Castilla y León: actas del II Congreso de Literatura Contemporánea" [Current Literature in Castile and León: Proceedings of the 2nd Congress of Contemporary Literature] (in Spanish). Dialnet. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  16. ^ Villalba Álvarez, Marina (2000). "Encuentro con la vida: a propósito de Cuentos, de Elena Santiago" [Encounter with Life: About Cuentos, by Elena Santiago]. In Villalba Álvarez, Marina (ed.). Mujeres novelistas en el panorama literario del siglo XX [Women Novelists in the Literary Panorama of the 20th Century] (in Spanish). University of Castilla–La Mancha. pp. 231–235. ISBN 9788484270454. Retrieved 20 August 2018 – via Google Books.
  17. ^ "Mythe personnel et écriture dans l'œuvre d'Elena Santiago : évolutions et involutions d'une quête de l'Absente" [Personal Myth and Writing in the Work of Elena Santiago: Evolutions and Involutions of a Quest for the Absentee]. theses.fr. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  18. ^ Mata, Raúl (2 December 2015). "Elena Santiago regresa con fuerza con la novela 'Nunca el olvido' y estrena web" [Elena Santiago Returns with Force with the Novel 'Nunca el olvido' and Launches Web]. La Razón (in Spanish). Valladolid. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  19. ^ "15 autores de Castilla y León 'regalan' su personal cuento de Navidad" [15 Authors from Castile and León 'Give Away' Their Personal Christmas Story]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Valladolid. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  20. ^ Gómez, Alfredo J. (15 December 2013). "Un cuento de Navidad para la familia de Elena Santiago" [A Christmas Story for the Family of Elena Santiago]. El Norte de Castilla (in Spanish). Valladolid. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  21. ^ "Cuentos populares de Castilla y León" [Folktales of Castile and León] (in Spanish). Fundación Lengua. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  22. ^ "Letras de misterio y belleza" [Letters of Mystery and Beauty] (in Spanish). saber.es. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Elena Santiago". Fundación Jorge Guillén (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  24. ^ Santiago, Elena (1977). La oscuridad somos nosotros (in Spanish). San Sebastián: Caja de Ahorros Provincial de Guipúzcoa. ISBN 978-84-7231-377-4. OCLC 5616735.
  25. ^ Castro, Pilar (11 March 2004). "Lo tuyo soy yo". El Cultural (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  26. ^ Tovar, Julio (28 April 2009). "La escritora Elena Santiago publica una nueva novela" [The Writer Elena Santiago Publishes a New Novel]. El Mundo (in Spanish). Valladolid. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  27. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Fallece la escritora leonesa Elena Santiago". Leonoticias (in Spanish). 3 January 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  28. ^ a b "Catálogo de publicaciones" (PDF). Diputación Foral de Álava (in Spanish). 2002. p. 36.
  29. ^ Escapa, Ernesto (17 March 2013). "Melodías de invierno" [Winter Melodies]. Diario de León (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  30. ^ "El escritor Gustavo Martín Garzo recibe hoy el Premio 'Provincia de Valladolid' a la Trayectoria Literaria 2002 instituido por la Diputación" [The Writer Gustavo Martín Garzo Today Receives the 2002 'Province of Valladolid' Literary Career Award Instituted by the Diputación] (in Spanish). Diputación Provincial de Valladolid. 10 November 2003. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  31. ^ Álvarez Prado, Emilio (14 June 2003). "Caluroso homenaje a la escritora Elena Santiago, que fue nombrada ayer hija predilecta de la villa" [Warm Tribute to the Writer Elena Santiago, Who was Named Favorite Daughter of the Town Yesterday]. Diario de León (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 August 2018.

External links[edit]