Before more than a thousand people who looked at her between laughter, some tears and gestures of admiration, Camila Sosa Villada, the writer and poet from Córdobapresented this afternoon at the Book Fair his latest book of stories, “I’m a fool for loving you”in a meeting where he displayed his charisma and an endearing tenderness that contradicts the spicy and suburban profile that his interventions on social networks usually have.
A room bursting with people sitting, standing, leaning against a column to listen to her. Queues and queues of people who couldn’t get in. Sosa Villada burst onto the stage in a very low-cut black dress and the José Hernández room -the largest in the Fair- screamed with emotion, something like the revelation of a rockstar. What appears to be a publishing and literary boom is also a sweeping hurricane. The hurricane is named Camila, paraphrasing Jaime Bayly. Because of his personality, because of his magnetism, because of the overwhelming presence he has on stage.
The Cordovan writer, actress and poet established herself as one of the contemporary writers of the moment with “The evil ones”, novel that led her to win the Sor Juana awards at the Guadalajara Fair and the Finestres de Narrativa. “I’m a fool for loving you” is a book of stories in which he takes up the transvestite fair and dive into life on the fringes of poverty. It is precisely one of the most requested titles at the Planeta stand, which publishes its texts.
The talk opened with a song, “Historia de un amor”, the bolero that Luis Miguel popularized a few years ago and that in one of the sections says: “it is the story of a love, as there is no other like it, which made me understand , all the good, all the bad…”.
Without an introduction, the author began reading “The House of Compassion”, one of the eight stories that make up her book: it is the story of Flor de Ceibo, a transvestite who survives the abuse of an uncle, recovers from hell itself and will have a series of strange events with a group of nuns. They read with her the broadcaster Elizabeth Vernaci, and the writer and trans activist Barbie Di Rocco.
“Now we see Flor de Ceibo leaving the bathroom. She goes zigzag. Maybe the girl didn’t notice her drunkenness or maybe she missed it. But there goes this splendid little woman with her silver lurex miniskirt, as short as only she can wear it, and with those chipped boots and with the heel beaten back, and yet dignified and even elegant, ”Vernaci read between Camila’s giggles and the full attention of the attendees.
In the first row she was accompanied by some friends of the LGBTQI community and companions that the author met in the Archivo de la Memoria Travesti Trans, an Argentine audiovisual collective that builds and vindicates the Argentine trans memory with photos, videos and newspaper archives.
The reading of the story lasted a little over an hour and a quarter. Those who had the book followed it with the reading, and those who did not, vibrated to the rhythm of the reading of Sosa Villada, Vernaci and Di Rocco. As soon as it was over, the three women announced the book signing at the publisher’s booth.
Half the room, or perhaps more, stood up to approach the stage and ask for autographs. To look at her closely. To whisper to her how much they admire her. To shout that they love her. To, even if it is, achieve a brief contact with an author who broke with all the established schemes.
The Camila Sosa Villada rage could not end there on a key Saturday in the Fair cycle. After the announcement, the mass of boys, girls, teenagers, young people, friends, couples and ladies began an eternal queue to get the author to sign their book.
Already at the stand and before an impatient crowd, the author sat in the light of the flashes, the cell phones, the popular delirium to access a brief piece of their attention. She was wearing huge snake earrings that several female readers complimented her on. When it was Magalí Muñiz’s turn, a colleague in charge of digitizing the transvestite archive, Sosa Villada hugged her.
“Thank you for coming, Cerati said”, he signed in his book. She asked how she was in health, if she had recovered from anemia. She kissed him, asked to see him soon. Sosa Villada is, in addition to a hurricane, a sensitive person, who listens, who records whoever is on the other side waiting for a signature, who connects with the other.
“You are a fool for coming”, “May the bad be with you”, “You are a fool for reading me”and many more personalized dedications were taken by those who had patience and were able to meet the author.
A young woman told with great emotion that her favorite writer had complimented her nails. In her book, she wrote: “Camila: what a beautiful name! Thanks for coming. Camila.”
In a brief recess between one person and another, Sosa Villada took off his chinstrap. She raised her chin and posed with the best version of herself for the official photographer of the Fair. Her aura captivates and seduces everyone.
“’For me, she liked it,’ Flor de Ceibo comments to the other Flor de Ceibo that lives inside her, who she has been talking to for years, since there are not many occasions when she can chat with other people with so much sincerity and so much grace”, says a fragment of the story shared in the room.
Sosa Villada shares with other people with sincerity and grace. She gives herself to her audience, she knows she is successful and nice, but in his social networks continue to build a hater profile that completes (and complicates) the personality of the hurricane. The public that accompanies it, historically oppressed and silenced, covers a large part of a main pavilion of the Rural Book Fair. The experience seems to be a before and after both for her and for those who follow her.