'A Thousand Forests in One Acorn'

'A Thousand Forests in One Acorn'

Valerie Miles discusses ‘A Thousand Forests in One Acorn,’ a collection of 28 of the greatest Spanish-language writers of the 20th century at the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival.

Valerie Miles —publisher, author, translator and co-founder of Granta en español— has curated perhaps the greatest cross-section of contemporary Spanish-language literature to be anthologized, A Thousand Forests in One Acorn.

Composed over many years of conversations and literary adventures throughout the Spanish speaking world, the book captures the voices of leading writers as they reflect on the particular work they consider closest to their heart, or that best expresses their driving creative obsession. The book serves as a privileged invitation into the private quiet of these great writers’ studies, bringing a breathtaking panorama of the moods, colors, and themes that compel the brightest minds in contemporary Spanish language literature today.

In conversation with author and Washington Post writer Manuel Roig-Franzia, Valerie will discuss her inspiration to assemble this formidable anthology and what it was like to interview some of the greatest authors of Spanish-language literature including: Nobel prize winning author Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Fuentes, Javier Marías, Ana María Matute, and Enrique Vila Matas, among many others. Additionally, she will also read a few of their selections, bringing their voices and work to life and displaying the range and power of 20th-century Spanish-language literature.

About Valerie Miles

Founding co-editor of Granta en español and author of Mil bosques en una bellota (2012) Valerie Miles is a writer, editor and translator who was born in New York and grew up in Pennsylvania, though she’s been living in Spain for over 20 years. She has long been devoted to building bridges between the Spanish and English language cultural worlds. In Barcelona, as publishing director of Emecé, she promoted the work of John Cheever, Richard Yates, Yasunari Kawabata, and Jorge Luis Borges, among others, before moving to Madrid and Alfaguara, where she worked with John Banville, Michael Ondaatje and Joyce Carol Oates, Gunter Grass, José Saramago, Javier Marías and Mario Vargas Llosa.

In 2003, she founded the Spanish-language version of Granta, together with Aurelio Major, which is now on its 14th issue. Then in 2006, she launched the New York Review of Books classics collection in Spanish. Her articles, essays and reviews appear in The New York Times, The Paris Review, La Nación, La Vanguardia, and Granta.

The Roberto Bolaño estate allowed her rare access to the archives to curate the first exhibition of his work, Archivo Bolaño 1977 - 2003, which opened in Barcelona in 2012. A Thousand Forests in One Acorn, her first book, took many years to compile and was published in Spanish in 2011.

Book presentation: 10 am to 10:45 am.
Book signing: 1 pm to 2 pm.

  • Literature
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Sat, August 30, 2014
  • 10:00 am — 2:00 pm


Venue map

Special Programs Pavilion, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001


Free and open to the public.

More information

2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival


Organized by the Library of Congress in collaboration with the SPAIN-USA Foundation and Open Letter Books. Photo by Nina Subin.



Don't miss events like this one! Subscribe to our bimonthly newsletter to stay informed. Our subscribers also get exclusive access to select online content such as free screenings or concerts.

Sign up for our newsletter