Laguna Beach Books Salon on International Literature Today: Latin American Writers

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Photo by South OC Beaches

On Sunday, September 28 at 3:00 pm, Laguna Beach Books is pleased to host a quarterly “salon” on international literature to be facilitated by former Cypress College instructor and UCI Emeritis teacher, Nancy Rayl, and local writer and book reviewer, Randy Kraft.
Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 South Coast Highway.

“Latin American Writers: Poetics and Politics” is not a… book group, rather an introduction to the notable writers of the region, with recommended readings. The series will continue quarterly with a review of the literature of India, China and Africa, among others.
“It has been estimated that as many as twenty times more English speaking writers are translated into foreign languages than international writers are translated into English,” said Kraft, who plans to present several writers telling stories and bearing witness to historical truths.
“We cannot characterize a collective of writers as one,” said Rayl, “however there are often similarities.”
The series begins with Latin American writers, who, since Cervantes, have focused much of the literature on the intersection, often the collision, of the personal and the political. Whether South American, Central American or Mexican, they write fiction with singular clarity and elegance, and within their tales is the search for a moral and emotional center amidst constant political turmoil.
The South American writers have made a significant impact, particularly masters like Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru, among the most profound, and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Colombia, who popularized “magical realism.” Sadly, few Mexican and Central American writers have yet to be translated, but Laura Esquivel is noted for “Like Water for Chocolate” and Carlos Fuentes is Mexico’s most prodigious storyteller, and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz from the Dominican Republic writes largely about fellow American immigrants. Cristina Garcia represent Cuba well. Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, is considered by many the “writers’ writer. Pablo Neruda put Spanish language poetry on the global map, while fellow Chilean Roberto Bolano astounds the literary world with his range.
A new generation of writers, including Andres Neuman and Cesar Aira of Argentina, Juan Gabriel Vasquez, Colombia, and Clarice Lispector, Brazil, have been recently translated to great acclaim. One of these may someday join the list of Latin American Nobel Prize winners: Llosa [2010], Garcia-Marquez [1982], and Neruda [1971].
“As much as the political pummels the reader, it is always the intimate personal search for meaning that characterizes Latin American writings,” Kraft said.
“What if after all these years you discover that behind your determined disciplined mind, impervious to discouragement, behind the fortress admired and envied by others, you have a tender, timid, wounded sentimental heart?” Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru, Feast of the Goat.
Join the afternoon discussion September 28th at 3:00 PM and for those who wish to begin the journey now, the following titles are available at Laguna Beach Books.

• Isabel Allende – The House of Spirits
• Roberto Bolano – The Savage Detectives, By Night in Chile
• Jorge Luis Borges – Any of his story collections.
• Laura Esquivel – Like Water for Chocolate
• Carlos Fuentes – The Death of Artemia Cruz, Diana
• Cristina Garcia – Dreaming in Cuban
• Mario Vargas Llosa – Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
• Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love in the Time of Cholera, 100 Years of Solitude
• Andres Neuman – Talking to Ourselves, Traveler of the Century
• Juan Gabriel Vasquez – Sound of Things Falling

For more information please link to Laguna Beach Books

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