Fernando Aramburu’s Patria (2016) has undoubtedly constituted one of the most explosive publishing successes of Spain’s literary market of the recent years. The author depicts Basque nationalism as a flawed product deriving from irrational violent impulses that supposedly lie at the core of the Basque identity, while privileging a hegemonic Castilian nationalism. Aramburu’s perspective, however, is tainted by his geographic and affective distancing from Euskadi, which arises not only from the fact that he has been living in Germany since 1985 but also from his identity as an author who writes only in Spanish. His novel misses the mark, as it consists of a collection of easily digestible stereotypes that do not facilitate a profound understanding of the Basque reality.

About the Author

Olga Bezhanova

Olga Bezhanova is an Associate Professor of Spanish Literature at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Dr. Bezhanova’s research interests include gender, nationalism, literature of crisis, and Basque literature. Her articles have appeared in Romance Quarterly, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Hispanófila, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Letras hispanas, Anales galdosianos, etc. Her book Growing Up in an Inhospitable World: Female Bildungsroman in Spain was awarded the Victoria Urbano Prize for the Best Critical Monograph by the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica. Dr. Bezhanova’s second book titled Literature of Crisis: Spain’s Engagement with Liquid Capital was published by Bucknell University Press in the Fall of 2017. Her teaching emphasizes the historic achievements of the Basque culture and its contribution to world literature, economy, politics, and visual arts.


M.A. Hispanic Studies – McGill University, 2003

PhD Spanish and Portuguese – Yale University, 2008