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Powell's Books Presents Gabriela Alemán in Conversation With Rodrigo Fuentes
Gabriela Alemán is known for her spirited and sardonic take on the fatefully interconnected — and often highly compromised — forces at work in present-day South America, and particularly in Ecuador. In her new collection of eight hugely entertaining short stories, Family Album (City Lights), Alemán teases tropes of hardboiled detective fiction, satire, and adventure narratives to recast the discussion of national identity. A muddy brew of pop-culture and pop-folklore yields intriguing, lesser-known episodes of contemporary Ecuadorian history, along with a rich cast of unforgettable characters whose intimate stories open up onto a vista of Ecuador’s place on the world stage. From a pair of deep-sea divers using Robinson Crusoe’s map of a shipwreck to locate sunken treasure in the Galápagos Archipelago, to a night with the husband of Ecuador’s most infamous expat, Lorena Bobbit, this series of cracked “family portraits” provides a cast of picaresque heroes and anti-heroes in stories that sneak up on a reader before they know what’s happened: they’ve learned a great deal about a country whose more well-known exports — soccer, coffee, and cocoa — mask an intriguing national story that’s ripe for the telling. Family Album is Alemán’s rollicking follow-up to her acclaimed English-language debut, Poso Wells. Alemán will be joined in conversation by Rodrigo Fuentes, author of Trout, Belly Up.
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Gabriela Alemán
Gabriela Alemán was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She received a PhD at Tulane University and holds a Master's degree in Latin American Literature from Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. She currently resides in Quito, Ecuador. Her literary honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006; member of Bogotá 39, a 2007 selection of the most important up-and-coming writers in Latin America in the post-Boom generation; one of five finalists for the 2015 Premio Hispanoamericano de Cuento Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia) for her short story collection La muerte silba un blues; and winner of several prizes for critical essays on literature and film. Her novel Poso Wells was published in English translation by City Lights in 2018.
Rodrigo Fuentes
Rodrigo Fuentes is the author of Trout, Belly Up, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Premio Hispanoamericano de Cuento Gabriel García Márquez. It has been published in Guatemala, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, and El Salvador, as well as in translation in France and Scotland. Rodrigo's awards include the Carátula Central American Short Story Prize (2014) and the Robert and Margaret MacColl Johnson Fellowship for Writing from the Rhode Island Foundation (2022). His upcoming book, Mapa de otros mundos, will be released in May 2022; forthcoming in English translation in the U.S.