AGATHE SIMON
Gabriela Conti (1974 – 2010)

2013
Novelist

© Agathe Simon
Photographed by: Carolina Ojeda

Gabriela Conti is a key figure of early 21st Century literature. Of French-Argentine nationality, she was honoured by Premio Literario Buenos Aires in 2000 and awarded the Grand prix de littérature contemporaine in 2001. From the late 1990s, Gabriela published several novels and travel stories: The Beauty of Exile, The Truths, The Nights of San Telmo, The Sixth Continent. Her fifth text, Vivre (The Life), is an ironic and fragmented account, a fictional diary interrupted by her death, an initiatory ode. From the Argentine dictatorship to Antarctica, from the Amazon rainforest to Seoul, Vivre traces Gabriela Conti’s quest during the last months of her life.

Her family history is one punctuated by exile. In 1943, her mother’s parents fled Nazi France and settled in Buenos Aires. In 1978, Gabriela was sent to Paris to escape from Argentinian dictatorship, after her mother was kidnapped.

Besides her novels, Gabriela Conti is well known for her adventures throughout the world, notably in Central African Republic, Peru and Papua New Guinea. In 2009, she was a member of ‘2048 Expedition’, in Antarctica. On February the 7th, 2010, two days before her tragic death, she became the first woman from Argentine nationality to reach South Pole.