An Evening with Elena Medel & Linda Chavez
Spanish writer Elena Medel, author in residence at George Mason University, joins American writer Linda Chavez for a conversation about the literary scene.
On the occasion of Spanish writer Elena Medel’s visit, as the Cheuse Center’s 2022 International Writer-in-Residence, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain together with the Cheuse Center at George Mason university have organized an evening with two international writers. The program includes a conversation between Medel and Chavez, followed by a book signing in partnership with Politics & Prose Bookstore. The talk will be accompanied by a selection of artworks by Stephanie Benassi, Money, Beauty, Rank: The Measure of All Things.
About Elena Medel
Elena Medel is a writer and the founder and publisher of the poetry publishing house La Bella Varsovia. She was the first woman ever to win the prestigious Francisco Umbral Prize for her debut novel, The Wonders (2020), which was also longlisted for the Finestres Award and has been translated into more than 15 languages, becoming a literary sensation.
Medel published her prize-winning first collection of poetry, My First Bikini, when she was sixteen years old, and has won other prizes for her work, including the XXVI Loewe Prize for Young Writers and the Princess of Girona Foundation Award 2016 in the Arts and Literature Category, and is one of the “12 Essential Spanish-language Female Authors” according to Publishers Weekly. She is also the author of three essay collections on poetry and has published a children’s book. She currently lives in Madrid.
About Linda Chavez
Linda Chavez has had a long and varied career in American politics that stretches across the political spectrum, both in and out of government. She served as the highest-ranking woman in the Reagan White House, became the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Maryland, and founded a series of public policy organizations focusing on race, ethnicity, and immigration.
Before she joined the Reagan administration, she edited the American Educator and American Teacher, publications of the American Federation of Teachers, worked in the Carter Administration’s Office of Management and Budget, served on the professional staff of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate period, and worked at the Democratic National Committee. She also served a four-year term (1992-1996) as the U.S. Expert to the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and as the Chair of the National Commission on Migrant Education (1988-1992). In 2000, she was honored by the Library of Congress as a Living Legend.
Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Commentary Magazine, National Review, and Readers Digest, among others. In 2010, Chavez began writing and publishing fiction. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from George Mason University in 2012, at the age of 65. Her stories have appeared in Commentary, Red Rock Review and Persimmon Tree. In 2015, her story “The Vigil” was selected for inclusion in the Silver Pen Writers’ Write Well Award Anthology.
Her forthcoming novel, The Conversos, is the story of her family’s decision to leave Seville for the New World in 1597 and is based loosely on an episode of Finding Your Roots, which profiled her family’s history. She is the mother of three sons and nine grandchildren. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband Chris Gersten.