Entre la Crisis Generacional y El Éxtasis Sexual: El Dilema Femenino en Atlas de Geografía Humana de Almudena Grandes

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In her fourth novel, Atlas de geografía humana (1998), Almudena Grandes presents the reader with a historical yet intimate portrayal of a generation of Spanish women in crisis. The interconnected narrations of the four female protagonists serve to introduce the recurrent themes in the novel (existential angst, fear of aging, eroticism, and change) while creating a symbolic human atlas that depicts the experience of personal transition, on one hand, and the sociopolitical transformation of a nation, on the other.

This article examines the ways in which Grandes explores the existential and moral ambivalence of a generation of Spaniards who grew up during the transition from dictatorship to democracy. The author highlights this generation's tendency to question social conventions and to uphold the natural law of instinct and desire. Issues of gender difference and female identity are also probed in the novel, as Grandes challenges certain feminist assumptions and puts forth, instead, an existentialist perspective of male-female relations reminiscent of Simone de Beauvoir's philosophy in The Second Sex (1949).


This is an electronic version of an article published in Romance Studies, 20(2), 129-144. It is available online at: