National Book Festival 2015
The Library of Congress adds a new International Pavilion, featuring young Spanish-language novelists and renowned authors, to its National Book Festival this September.
The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. It was created by Laura Bush and Librarian of Congress James H. Billington at the suggestion of Mrs. Bush, who had created the Texas Book Festival. Over its 15-year history, the National Book Festival has become one of the pre-eminent literary events in the United States. The first festival was Sept. 8, 2001. Mrs. Bush served as honorary chair of the festival through 2008. President and Mrs. Obama have served as honorary co-chairs from 2009 to the present.
The Library of Congress adds a brand new International Pavilion to its National Book Festival. Featured this year are renowned contemporary authors who write in Spanish, among them: Valeria Luiselli (Mexico) Los Ingrávidos, Andres Neuman (Argentina/Spain) El viajero del siglo, Álvaro Enrigue (Mexico) Muerte Súbita, Santiago Roncagliolo (Peru) Abril rojo, Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Colombia) El ruido de las cosas al caer, Alejandro Zambra (Chile) Bonsai, María José Navia (Chile) Instrucciones para ser feliz, Cristina Rivera Garza (Mexico) Lo anterior. Also featured will be the 60th anniversary of Juan Rulfo’s classic Pedro Páramo.
Álvaro Enrigue: “Muerte subita”
Álvaro Enrigue is a celebrated Mexican author. He has written 10 fiction books, two of which are now available in English translations: Perpendicular Lives and Hypothermia. Enrigue received the prestigious Joaquín Mortiz Prize for his first novel, La muerte de un instalador, as well as the coveted Herralde Prize for his most recent book. His commentary in English has been published in The New York Times, The Believer and The London Review of Books. His most recent award-winning book, Muerte subita (Anagrama), will be available in the English translation Sudden Death (Riverhead) in 2016. Enrigue lives in New York, where he alternates between teaching at Princeton and Columbia universities.
Valeria Luiselli: “The Story of My Teeth”
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Africa. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed novel Faces in the Crowd and the collection of essays Sidewalks. Her work has been translated into multiple languages and has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Granta and McSweeney’s. She has received the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for first fiction and the National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 award. Her newest novel available in English is The Story of My Teeth (Coffee House).
María José Navia: “Instrucciones para ser feliz”
María José Navia is a Chilean author with a degree in Hispanic literature and linguistics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and a degree in humanities and social thought from New York University. Her scholarly research interests range from trauma and pop-modernism to critical theory and urban studies. Navia has written various short stories, articles and books, including the novel SANT. She is also a regular volunteer at 826DC, where she helps lead storytelling and bookmaking field trips in Spanish. Her latest book, Instrucciones para ser feliz (Sudaquia Editores), is available in the original Spanish and delivers contemplative reflection on the essence of modern human existence and some guidelines for happiness. Currently, Navia is pursuing a doctorate at Georgetown University’s department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Andrés Neuman: “Talking to Ourselves: A Novel”
Andrés Neuman, the son of emigrant musicians, grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Granada, Spain. He has a degree in Spanish philology from the University of Granada, where he taught Latin American literature. Neuman is the author of numerous novels, short stories, poems, aphorisms and travel books. His first novel, which was translated into English, Traveler of the Century, won the Alfaguara Prize and the National Critics Prize and was named among the books of the year by El País, El Mundo, The Guardian, The Independent and The Financial Times. Talking to Ourselves: A Novel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) is the most recent of his works available in an English translation. Neuman was selected as one of Granta’s best young Spanish-language novelists and was included on the Bogotá39 list. His works have been translated into 20 languages.
Santiago Roncagliolo: “Red April”
Santiago Roncagliolo is a Peruvian writer, scriptwriter, translator and journalist. He began his writing career with children’s books and plays, and expanded to write in a variety of forms from nonfiction articles to soap opera scripts. Roncagliolo’s works have been translated into more than 10 languages, and his novel Pudor was made into a film. He is also a contributor to El País and various other Latin American newspapers. Roncagliolo is the author of more than 10 Spanish books including La cuarta espada, which goes inside the mind of terrorist Abimael Guzmán, and Memorias de una dama, which traces the origins of the Mafia in Cuba. He became the youngest winner of the Alfaguara Prize in 2006 for his political thriller Abril rojo, which was recently published in English as Red April (Vintage) and was a finalist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. The main character of Red April returns in Roncagliolo’s latest Spanish thriller, La pena máxima.
Juan Gabriel Vásquez, “Lovers on All Saints’ Day: Stories”
Juan Gabriel Vásquez is the author of the best-selling The Sound of Things Falling as well as the award-winning The Informers and The Secret History of Costaguana. His books have been published in 26 languages worldwide. Vásquez has received an International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the French Roger Caillois Prize and the Spanish Alfaguara Prize. His most recent book is Lovers on All Saints’ Day: Stories (Penguin).
Alejandro Zambra, “My Documents”
Alejandro Zambra is a Chilean novelist and poet. He is the author of the novels Ways of Going Home, The Private Lives of Trees and Bonsai. He has twice received the National Council on Books and Reading Prize for the best novel of the year and was named one of the best young Spanish-language novelists by Granta in 2010. His writing has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Tin House, Harper’s and McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. His newest book is the short story collection My Documents (McSweeney’s). He recently became a fellow at the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library.
Cristina Rivera Garza
Cristina Rivera Garza is an award-winning Mexican author as well as a professor and director of the MFA creative writing program at the University of California, San Diego. She has written six novels, three collections of short stories, five volumes of poetry and three nonfiction books. Her work has been translated from the original Spanish into various languages, including English, French, Italian, Portuguese and Korean. Garza is the only author who has received the International Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize twice, and her other awards include the Anna Seghers and the Roger Caillois Award. She is best known for her novel Nadie me verá llorar, which is available in the English translation No One Will See Me Cry by Andrew Hurley. Another of her recent works is the novel Lo anterior (Spanish Pubs LLC). Garza has also written extensively on the social history of mental illness in early 20th century Mexico and her work has been published in academic journals and edited volumes throughout the United States, England, Argentina and Mexico.