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Eccentric Embodiment: Tales and Truths

Valeria Luiselli and Guadalupe Nettel
In conversation with writer and translator Magdalena Edwards
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Episode Summary


The eccentric fictional worlds of authors Valeria Luiselli and Guadalupe Nettel come alive on the ALOUD stage as these two leading voices in contemporary Mexican literature meet to share recent work. Luiselli, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction and two-time recipient of the Los Angeles Times’ Book Prizes will share The Story of My Teeth, an imaginative odyssey through Mexico City’s art world and industrial suburbs. Guadalupe Nettel, voted one of the most important Latin American writers at the Bogotá Hay Festival, playfully illuminates human obsessions in her short fiction Natural Histories, and narrates her unconventional childhood in the autobiographical novel, The Body Where I Was Born.

For photos from the program, click here

Participant(s) Bio


Valeria Luiselli was born Mexico City and 1983 and grew up in South Africa. A novelist (Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth) and essayist (Sidewalks), her work has been translated into many languages and has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, and McSweeney’s. In 2014, Faces in the Crowd was the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award. The Story of My Teeth was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the 2015 Los Angeles Times Prize for Best Fiction. She lives in New York City.

The New York Times described Guadalupe Nettel’s acclaimed English-language debut, Natural Histories, as “five flawless stories.” A Bogotá 39 author and Granta “Best Untranslated Writer,” Nettel has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Gilberto Owen National Literature Prize, the Antonin Artaud Prize, the Ribera del Duero Short Fiction Award, and most recently the 2014 Herralde Novel Prize. The Body Where I Was Born is her highly anticipated first novel to appear in English. She lives and works in Mexico City.
El New York Times describió el aclamado debut en lengua inglesa de Guadalupe Nettel, Natural Histories, como ‘cinco historias perfectas.’ Una autora de Bogotá 39 y ‘Mejor escritora sin traducir’ de Granta, Nettel ha recibido numerosos premios prestigiosos, incluyendo el Gilberto Owen National Literature Prize, el Antonin Artaud Prize, el Ribera del Duero Short Fiction Award, y más recientemente el 2014 Herralde Novel Prize. The Body Where I Was Born es su primera novela muy anticipada a aparecer en inglés. Ella vive y trabaja en México D.F.
Magdalena Edwards’ writing has appeared in The Paris Review Daily, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), The Millions, and El Mercurio. She is translating Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s novel The Chandelier from Portuguese for New Directions, a project that took her to Yaddo. A contributing editor at LARB and an Artist Resident in Motherhood, Magdalena is completing a literary memoir In the Middle of the Road: Traveling with Elizabeth Bishop, Clarice Lispector, and Raúl Zurita and translating, from Spanish, Chilean surrealist Juan Emar’s posthumous novel Love. She holds a BA in Social Studies from Harvard and a PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA.