London Spanish-language Literature Reading Group – January 2012

With the support of a growing band of subscribers, and some development funding from the Arts Council, “& Other Stories” is delighted to be bringing mindblowing translations of Spanish Language books to the British public. Our networks of readers, writers and literary translators have brought some real finds to our attention via our reading groups. This January’s meet-up will discuss English translations of books by Mexican, Cuban and Colombian authors: Carmen Boullosa’s “El complot de los Románticos” (Conspiracy of the Romantics), Abilio Estevez’s “El navegante dormido” (The Sleeping Seafarer) & Antonio Ungar’s “Tres ataúdes blancos” (Three White Coffins).

How our reading group meet-ups work:

  1. Extracts in English are added to our website where possible: Click here for Carmen Boullosa’s “El complot de los Románticos” (Conspiracy of the Romantics), here for Abilio Estevez’s “El navegante dormido” (The Sleeping Seafarer) & here for Antonio Ungar’s “Tres ataúdes blancos” (Three White Coffins).Copies of the books in the original Spanish may be available to borrow from And Other Stories, who can also point you to other sources. Email reading@andotherstories.org saying which book you would like to read. The European Bookshop (London) http://www.europeanbookshop.com/
    has copies, and Grant & Cutlers in Foyles will have copies too in all probability.
  2. Read the excerpts, then comment online via the author pages.
  3. Come to a meet-up (usually in London) to discuss what has been read. You can be sure of lively, well informed discussion.

Reading period: 1 January – 30 January 2012                                                                   Meet-up: 6:30-8 pm, Monday 30 January; Wapping Project Bookshop (Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall, London E1W 3SG)

We are on the corner of Wapping Wall and Glamis Road, opposite the Prospect of Whitby pub. Turn right out of Wapping overground station and follow the road around. Turn right onto Wapping Wall and you will find us on your left after a couple of hundred yards. The bookshop occupies a greenhouse on the lawn outside the main building. Followed by socialising in a nearby pub.

The Authors:

Carmen Boullosa, the Mexican novelist, poet and playwright, lives in central Brooklyn. She is a host of the CUNY TV programme New York. She has also taught at City College and been a fellow at New York Public Library and the Guggenheim Foundation. Some of her fiction has been translated into English: They’re Cows, We’re Pigs; Cleopatra DismountsLeaving Tabasco and The Miracle Worker. Her writing has been praised by writers including Carlos Fuentes, Elena Poniatowska and Roberto Bolaño.

Abilio Estévez was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1954 but has been resident in Barcelona for the past ten years. Estévez’s writing covers a wide variety of genres – the novel, short stories, poetry, theatre and dance – and he has been awarded important prizes within all these areas. Of his four novels, two have already been translated into English: Thine is the Kingdom (2001) and Distant Palaces (2004). His last two novels (El navegante dormido, Tusquets, 2008; El bailarín ruso de Montecarlo, Tusquets, 2010) deal with the themes of isolation and exile.

Speaking of his former life in Cuba (in El País, 29/05/2010), the novelist describes it as a state of ‘insile’, being inside without being there, and this sense of internal isolation suffuses El navegante dormido. His most recent work, La última función, a theatre-ballet piece which premiered in Miami in 2010, was written for and starred the Cuban prima ballerina, Rosario ‘Charín’ Suárez.

Born in Bogotá is 1974, Antonio Ungar graduated as an architect before taking up writing as a profession. Besides working as a journalist and translator, he has published three collections of short stories and the novels Zanahorias voladoras(Flying Carrots), Las orejas del lobo (The Wolf’s Ears; shortlisted for the Courrier International prize) and Tres ataúdes blancos (Three White Coffins), which was awarded the Premio Herralde in 2010. He was also included in the Bogotá 39. While his fiction often deals with the issue of Latin American politics, Ungar professes to be a nomad with no specific national identity. He has lived in Colombia, Mexico, Spain and England and recently spent time in Jaffa with his Palestinian wife. In an interview in El Espectador, he states that the novel uses humour to deal with a hard, deformed reality, but has also said that that reality could be Colombia, could be Venezuela, could even be Spain…

We love the books we’re publishing and we hope you will, too. To continue, we are reliant on your support, please consider subscribing! We hope you’ll agree that it’s an enticing offer. To find out more about us, look at the drop-down menu on the About tab or read about us on the Booktrust website or in the Irish Times.

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One Response to London Spanish-language Literature Reading Group – January 2012

  1. Diarmuid Drury says:

    Is anybody interested in starting a group in Brighton? I would be interested in reading both contemporary and classical Spanish and Latin American literature – fiction, plays and poetry.
    Am currently reading Tirano Banderas, a deeply impressive book.
    contact me at:
    diarmuiddrury@hotmail.com

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