Luca de Tena y Brunet, Torcuato

Luca de Tena y Brunet, Torcuato
b. 1923, Madrid
   Journalist, novelist, dramatist and poet, Torcuato Luca de Tena has continued the literary tradition of his father, dramatist Juan Ignacio, Marquis of Luca de Tena, and his grandfather, founder of the newspaper ABC. Although Luca de Tena studied law, he began working as a correspondent for ABC in 1945, travelling to several countries including England, the USA, the Middle East, Hungary and Mexico. In 1962, he became editor of ABC. He maintains a special interest in Latin America, having founded ABC de las Americas, which focuses on that region.
   Luca de Tena's literary career began in 1945 with a modest book of poems entitled Espuma, nube, viento (Foam, Cloud, Wind), followed in 1948 by a journalistic chronicle, El Londres de la postguerra (Post-War London) which won the Larragoiti Journalism Award. His first novelistic effort, La otra vida del Capitán Contreras (The Second Life of Captain Contreras) (1953) recounted the disillusionment of a seventeenth-century soldier, resur-rected in the twentieth century. His second novelistic effort, published in 1955, was La edad prohibida (The Forbidden Age), memoirs of adolescence, which won both the National Literary Award and the Málaga-Costa del Sol Award. His 1961 novel of adultery, La mujer del otro (Another Man's Wife) received the Planeta Prize. La brújula loca (The Crazy Compass) (1964) and Pepa Niebla (1970), more mature works, present psychological profiles of, respectively, a child during the Civil War and a schizophrenic. Novels from the 1970s and 1980s include Cartas de más allá (Letters from Beyond) (1978), Los renglones torcidos de Dios (God's Twisted Pages) (1979), Escritos en las olas (Written on the Waves) (1979), and Los hijos de la lluvia (a.C.) (Children of the Rain, B.C.) (1985). Luca de Tena's novels have enjoyed wide popularity with the reading public, going into several editions, but have received scant critical attention, perhaps because they conform to traditional novelistic forms, and have occasionally been labelled superficial. Luca de Tena's dramatic production began in 1967 when he and his father collaborated to adapt his novel La otra vida del Capitán Contreras to the stage. The 1975 drama Hay una luz sobre la cama (There's a Light Over the Bed) featured the same protagonist as his novel Pepa Niebla. Other dramas include El triunfador (The Victor) (1975), Una visita inmoral (An Immoral Visit) (1975) and El extraño mundo de Nacho Larranga (Nacho Larranga's Strange World) (1979).
   Luca de Tena has also produced non-fiction works. He collaborated in 1955 with Captain Teodoro Palacios, held in Russian prison camps for eleven years, to produce Embajador en el infierno (Ambassador in Hell) (1955) which received both the National and Army Literary Awards. The results of his historical investigation appeared in Los mil y un descubrimientos de América (The Thousand and One Discoveries of America) and also in the biography Yo, Juan Domingo Perón (I, Juan Domingo Perón) in 1976.
   Luca de Tena was elected to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in 1972.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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