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Prayers for the Stolen

Jennifer Clement
In Conversation With Magdalena Edwards
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Episode Summary

Inspired by the author’s years living in Mexico and ten years of field research, this transporting, the visceral novel tells the story of young women in rural Guerrero who live in the shadows of the drug war. The poetic narrative of the heroine Lady disguised by her mother as a boy for protection from the vicious cartels—shows great resilience and resolve as a young woman caught in a real-life nightmare. This fictionalized work by award-winning author and the former President of PEN Mexico ensures that the most vulnerable voices cannot be silenced at a time when fiction never seemed truer to fact than the present.

Co-presented with LéaLA, Feria del Libro en Español de Los Ángeles.

Participant(s) Bio

Jennifer Clement has studied literature in New York and Paris. Among many honors for her work, the internationally acclaimed novel Prayers for the Stolen was awarded the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Fellowship for Literature as well as the Sara Curry Humanitarian Award. She is also the author of the memoir Widow Basquiat and the novels A True Story Based on Lies, a finalist for the Orange Prize, and The Poison That Fascinates, as well as several books of poetry. Clement’s work has been translated into twenty languages. She lives in Mexico City and was President of PEN Mexico from 2009 to 2012.

Magdalena Edwards is a writer based in Los Angeles and born in Santiago, Chile. Her essays and lyrical experiments have appeared recently in The Millions, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Paris Review Daily. Her work as a staff writer for Chile's leading newspaper El Mercurio led to graduate studies at UCLA in Comparative Literature, with an emphasis on twentieth-century poet-translators from the Americas, including Elizabeth Bishop, Octavio Paz, and Manuel Bandeira. Edwards occasionally translates poetry and prose from Spanish and Portuguese, and she is an editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is working on a book about love.