Iberian Suite – Literature Panels and Forums

  • Literature
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Sat, March 14 —
    Sun, March 15, 2015
Iberian Suite – Literature Panels and Forums

The three-day literature series, moderated by Marie Arana offers an array of literary voices, reaching from Spain and Portugal to many Latin American countries, as well as Africa and the Caribbean.

Novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists, and translators gather to celebrate the abiding legacies of a worldwide culture. This series promises a stimulating exchange of ideas and an inspiring celebration of words. Each literature panel is immediately followed by a book signing with the panel’s authors outside the venue

The Measure of Cervantes’s Tongue

  • On March 14 at 1 pm.
  • Two wordsmiths who know the language of Cervantes as few others do share their knowledge of the literary master.
  • With panelists Eduardo Lago and Edith Grossman.

Eduardo Lago (Spain) is a novelist, translator, literary critic, and the former director of the Cervantes Institute of New York. He is currently a professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College. In the panel, he will talk about the cultural legacy of the Spanish language. Eduardo Lago is participating with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain, and SPAIN arts & culture.

Edith Grossman (U.S.) is an award-winning translator and critic who has translated into English the poetry, fiction, and nonfiction of the most distinguished Latin American and Spanish writers, including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Álvaro Mutis, and Miguel de Cervantes. In the panel, she will talk about the intricate ties between Cervantes, Faulkner, and García Márquez.

The Boundless Spanish Imagination

  • On March 15 at 2 pm.
  • Two of the most successful contemporary novelists in the Spanish language talk about how the literary traditions of Spain have shaped their work. Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s wildly imaginative tales and Antonio Muñoz Molina’s gritty historical novels could be said to represent opposite sides of the literary spectrum, and yet both approaches to the art can be described as deeply Spanish.
  • With panelists Carlos Ruiz Zafón and Antonio Muñoz Molina. Moderated by Valerie Miles.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Spain) is the celebrated author of seven novels, including The Shadow of the Wind and the cycle The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. His works have been translated into more than 45 languages and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain) is a prize-winning novelist whose most recent book is In the Night of Time. He is also a full member of the Royal Spanish Academy and the 2013 winner of the Jerusalem Prize. His columns appear regularly in El País and Die Welt.

Moderator Valerie Miles (U.S.) is an editor, translator, writer, and teacher residing in Spain. A co-founder of the literary journal Granta en Español, she is also editor of the anthology of Spanish-language writers A Thousand Forests in One Acorn.

A Song for Iberia: Six Voices of Literary Masters Then and Now

  • On Sunday, March 15 at 4:30 pm.
  • To celebrate the stunning diversity of Spanish- and Portuguese-language writers, this panel is a veritable symphony of voices from the past as well as the present. Contemporary writers from around the world talk about their work, even as we hear echoes from their literary forebears.
  • With panelists César Aira, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Dulce María Cardoso, Javier Cercas, Alonso Cueto and Carmen Boullosa. Moderated by Anne McLean.

César Aira (Argentina; preceded in the panel by a recording of Jorge Luis Borges) is one of the most prolific writers in his country, and certainly one of the best known in Latin America. His novel La prueba (The Evidence) has been made into a feature film, and How I Became a Nun was chosen as one of Argentina’s ten best books.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia; preceded by a recording of Gabriel García Márquez), a writer of starkly realistic fiction, is best known for his novel The Sound of Things Falling. He has received numerous international prizes for his novels and short stories, which have been translated into 22 languages.

Dulce María Cardoso (Portugal/Angola; preceded by a recording of Jorge Amado) began her career as a lawyer, but in 2001 published a debut novel Field of Blood, which won the Grand Prix Romance award and launched her career as a prize-winning novelist.

Javier Cercas (Spain; preceded by a recording of Pedro Salinas) is a novelist and professor of literature at the Universitat de Girona in Catalonia, and also a regular columnist for El País. His best known novels are Soldiers of Salamis and Outlaws. Javier Cercas is participating with the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain, and SPAIN arts & culture.

Alonso Cueto (Peru; preceded by a recording of Mario Vargas Llosa) is a novelist and playwright who writes in many genres. Published in many languages, his books have won prizes and distinctions around the world. His most recent novel, The Blue Hour, is currently being adapted for the screen.

Carmen Boullosa (Mexico; preceded by a recording of Octavio Paz), a prize-winning Mexican novelist, poet, and playwright, is also a distinguished professor of literature at New York University. Her bestselling They’re Cows, We’re Pigs has been followed by more than a dozen works of fiction, including her latest work Texas. Carmen Boullosa is participating with the support of the Embassy of Mexico and its Cultural Institute.

Moderator Anne McLean (Canada) is an award-winning translator of numerous acclaimed Spanish-language works, including those of Julio Cortázar, Javier Cercas, and Juan Gabriel Vázquez. She received the 2014 International Dublin Literary Award for Cercas’s The Sound of Things Falling.

Presented as part of the Kennedy Center's International Festival IBERIAN SUITE: global arts remix.


Venue map

Family Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566


Free event. Free general admission tickets will be distributed approximately 30 minutes prior to the event in the Family Theater lobby area, 2 tickets per person in line.

More information

Festival's website


Presented by the Kennedy Center in cooperation with the governments of Portugal and Spain. Presenting Underwriter HRH Foundation. Spanish programs presented with the support of SPAIN arts & culture, Marca España and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain. View the full festival credits. The Literary Series is presented in collaboration with the Library of Congress.



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