El contestador australiano and the transnational flows of Australian writing in Spanish


  • Michael Jacklin University of Wollongong


Hispanic literature, multilingual literature, multicultural literature, migrant writing, transnational literature,


El contestador australiano y otros cuentos [The Australian answering machine and other stories] is the title of a collection of short stories written in Spanish by Uruguayan-born Ruben Fernández. It was published in 2008 in Montevideo by the well-regarded publishing house Del Sur Ediciones. In 2009 Fernández was interviewed by the Uruguayan newspaper El País and spoke about how his stories relate to his experience of thirty years as a migrant living in Australia. Many of the stories in this collection first appeared in Australia in the 1980s and early 1990s, a number of them as prize-winning entries in literary competitions, with several subsequently published in Spanish-language newspapers and magazines in Sydney. The Uruguayan publication is, in fact, a revised version of the 1993 book Querido Juan dos puntos, published in Sydney, with assistance from the Australia Council, by Cervantes Publications. This earlier collection was well received with reviews, interviews and front cover photographs appearing in the Spanish-language press in Australia at the time. Fernández is only one of a number of Spanish-speaking authors whose work flows between Australia, Latin America and Spain. In this article I discuss aspects of the literary infrastructure in Spanish in Australia that have supported the publication of fiction within this migrant community and analyse stories from El contestador australiano to demonstrate the transnational dimensions of Australian Spanish-language writing.

Author Biography

Michael Jacklin, University of Wollongong

Research Fellow Faculty of Law, Humanities, and the Arts, University of Wollongong