Building Bridges through the Literature of Roberto Bolaño


LFLA teams up with LéaLA

When a colleague at the LA Public Library snuck LéaLA director Marisol Schultz into the green room after last year’s ALOUD program with Javier Sicilia, little did we realize it was the start of a budding relationship.

Months later in Guadalajara, Mexico, we would meet again, this time during the 26th annual Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara: the largest book fair in the Spanish speaking world, and second only to Frankfurt in international scale. The team behind L.A.’s Spanish language book fair, LéaLA, was also there, and we began planting the seeds for growing our partnership, the fruits of which will be explored next week as writers, a translator and poet, and Bolaño’s first U.S. publisher convene for a discussion about their relationship to the late Chilean author Roberto Bolaño, whose young life was taken by liver cancer ten years ago in July of this year.  His legacy in both poetry and prose remains vibrant in the international literary community, and new work, previously unpublished, continues to be made available.

The ALOUD panel takes place on the eve of the L.A.-based Spanish-language fair housed at the convention center from May 17-19th, during which an ambitious schedule of  book presentations, author talks, publisher exhibitions and musical and theatrical events will engage a crowd of over 60,000 visitors. It is the only fair of its kind in the nation. Angelenos will have a unique opportunity to celebrate literature in an environment where, as Schultz stressed, “There will be no signs of stereotype: no mole, no tamales, no papel picado. They can’t reduce our culture to that. LéaLA is different. We have books. In the books, you have our history. You have what we are. Our culture is diversity.”

ALOUD partners with LéaLA on Thursday, May 16th at the Central Library for “The Making of the Great Bolaño: The Man and the Myth,” a bilingual panel discussion with simultaneous translation.  Read more about the participants and join in this celebration of language and literature.

LéaLA director Marisol Schultz stands next to City Librarian John Szabo during a press conference at the Los Angeles Public Library

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