Valeria Luiselli


Born
in Ciudad de México, Mexico
August 16, 1983

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Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. Her novels and essays have been translated into many languages and her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney’s. Some of her recent projects include a ballet libretto for the choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, performed by the New York City Ballet in Lincoln Center in 2010; a pedestrian sound installation for the Serpentine Gallery in London; and a novella in installments for workers in a juice factory in Mexico. She lives in New York City.

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“Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it’s said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted. The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions. T.S. Eliot: a plant growing in the debris of a ruined building; Salvador Novo: a tree-lined street transformed into an expressway; Tomas Segovia: a boulevard, a breath of air; Roberto Bolano: a rooftop terrace; Isabel Allende: a (magically real) shopping mall; Gilles Deleuze: a summit; and Jacques Derrida: a pothole. Robert Walser: a chink in the wall, for looking through to the other side; Charles Baudelaire: a waiting room; Hannah Arendt: a tower, an Archimedean point; Martin Heidegger: a cul-de-sac; Walter Benjamin: a one-way street walked down against the flow.”
Valeria Luiselli

“I've always thought that hell is the people you could one day become. The most frightening ones.”
Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth

“Because—how do you explain that it is never inspiration that drives you to tell a story, but rather a combination of anger and clarity? How do you say: No, we do not find inspiration here, but we find a country that is as beautiful as it is broken, and we are somehow now part of it, so we are also broken with it, and feel ashamed, confused, and sometimes hopeless, and are trying to figure out how to do something about all that.”
Valeria Luiselli, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions

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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Reading with Style: This topic has been closed to new comments. Winter 14/15 TtPR Questions and Answers 88 55 Feb 22, 2014 12:42PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: * Week 6: Introduction 21 1611 May 07, 2015 07:25AM  
The Book Club: 2015 Book Prizes 23 81 Oct 08, 2015 04:15PM  
Reading with Style: New-to-Us Authors 8 109 Feb 02, 2016 06:27AM  
Tournament of Books: This topic has been closed to new comments. 2016 Longlist 569 411 Feb 14, 2016 04:00PM  
Tournament of Books: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Story of My Teeth, by Valeria Luiselli 39 155 Feb 18, 2016 06:44AM  


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