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Faces in the Crowd
by Valeria Luiselli and Christina MacSweeney


Overview - "Electric Literature" 25 Best Novels of 2014
"Largehearted Boy" Favorite Novels of 2014

"An extraordinary new literary talent.""The Daily Telegraph"

"In part a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this deceptively modest-seeming, astonishingly inventive novel creates an extraordinary intimacy, a sensibility so alive it quietly takes over all your senses, quivering through your nerve endings, opening your eyes and heart.  Read more...


 
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More About Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli; Christina MacSweeney
 
 
 
Overview
"Electric Literature" 25 Best Novels of 2014
"Largehearted Boy" Favorite Novels of 2014

"An extraordinary new literary talent.""The Daily Telegraph"

"In part a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this deceptively modest-seeming, astonishingly inventive novel creates an extraordinary intimacy, a sensibility so alive it quietly takes over all your senses, quivering through your nerve endings, opening your eyes and heart. Youth, from unruly student years to early motherhood and a loving marriageand then, in the book's second half, wilder and something else altogether, the fearless, half-mad imagination of youth, I might as well call ithas rarely been so freshly, charmingly, and unforgettably portrayed. Valeria Luiselli is a masterful, entirely original writer."Francisco Goldman

In Mexico City, a young mother is writing a novel of her days as a translator living in New York. In Harlem, a translator is desperate to publish the works of Gilberto Owen, an obscure Mexican poet. And in Philadelphia, Gilberto Owen recalls his friendship with Lorca, and the young woman he saw in the windows of passing trains. Valeria Luiselli's debut signals the arrival of a major international writer and an unexpected and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.
"Luiselli s haunting debut novel, about a young mother living in Mexico City who writes a novel looking back on her time spent working as a translator of obscure works at a small independent press in Harlem, erodes the concrete borders of everyday life with a beautiful, melancholy contemplation of disappearance. . . . Luiselli plays with the idea of time and identity with grace and intuition." "Publishers Weekly"
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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781566893541
  • ISBN-10: 1566893542
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press
  • Publish Date: May 2014
  • Page Count: 146


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Hispanic & Latino
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-02-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

Luiselli’s haunting debut novel, about a young mother living in Mexico City who writes a novel looking back on her time spent working as a translator of obscure works at a small independent press in Harlem, erodes the concrete borders of everyday life with a beautiful, melancholy contemplation of disappearance. The woman worked at the press before she was married and had children, and her days there are marked by a willful transience and solitude, as she goes to bed with friends and memorizes poems by Frederico Garcia Lorca, Emily Dickinson, and William Carlos Williams. She becomes fixated on Gilberto Owen, a Mexican poet who had lived in Harlem at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, and she does everything she can to convince her editor to publish him. The young mother and translator blur together: as a mother, she struggles to find time to write while caring for her two children, her worktable littered with toys and diapers. The narrative then makes another turn, travelling back a century to follow Owen, who discusses poetry with Garcia Lorca and Joshua Zvorsky (a thinly veiled Louis Zukofsky), and wonders about the “echoes of people” whom he sees in the subway. He moves to Philadelphia 20 years later, lonely and going blind. Inhabited by the spectral presence of poets and a creeping desperation that branches into the psyche of the narrators, this elegant novel speaks to the transience of reality. The elusive strands of the young woman and Owen’s narratives intertwine and blur together as Luiselli plays with the idea of time and identity with grace and intuition. (May)

 
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