Spain Writes, America Reads: Ordesa by Manuel Vilas

Spain Writes, America Reads: Ordesa by Manuel Vilas

Author Manuel Vilas presents “Ordesa” at “Spain Writes, America Reads,” a virtual series of author talks to introduce recently translated books from Spain in the US.

Ordesa by Manuel Vilas

The third author talk from Spain Writes, America Reads will introduce American audiences to Ordesa, the English edition of Manuel Vilas’s bestselling novel, translated from the Spanish by Andrea Rosenberg, and published in the U.S. by Riverhead Books.

A man at a crossroads in the middle of his life considers the place where he’s from, and where his parents have recently died. In the face of enormous personal tumult, he sits down to write. What follows is an audacious chronicle of his childhood and an unsparing account of his life’s trials, failures, and triumphs that becomes a moving look at what family gives and takes away.

Vilas is a Spanish poet, novelist, and essayist born in 1962 who has enjoyed critical and commercial success in his homeland with this book … Vilas also conveys —and Rosenberg smoothly translates— many moments of pain and happiness any reader might recognize as the narrator plunges into the maelstrom of closely examined memory. A dark and challenging but emotionally rich work.

—Kirkus Reviews

Ordesa is a poet’s novel, or maybe a novelist’s prose poem. It’s both things at once, and also the saddest and most candid autobiography I’ve read in recent times. I’ve been through this book twice and I still don’t know how Vilas does it. I know, however, that this book is a gift, and maybe that’s enough.

—Juan Gabriel Vásquez, author of The Shape of the Ruins

A book full of compassion towards the underdogs of history, the everyday men. An extraordinary book.

El País

Order the book and watch all past presentations from Spain Writes, America Reads.

  • Literature
  • Online
  • Thu, December 10, 2020
  • 3:00 pm



Presented by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, DC in collaboration with Riverhead Books