Latin America: 39 promising authors under 40

Hay Festival announced on May 5 the “Bogotá 39-2017”: a selection of the best fiction writers under 40 from across Latin America.

The latest in the Hay Festival 39s series supporting the next generation of great writers around the world, the Bogotá39-2017 selection will be showcased in a new anthology of work, published in Colombia by independent editorials and translated and published in the UK by Oneworld in January 2018, and celebrated in live events at Hay Festival Cartagena de Indias, 25-28 January 2018.

Writers were selected by an expert jury comprised of Darío Jaramillo (Colombia), Leila Guerriero (Argentina) and Carmen Boullosa (Mexico), following a process of open submissions, which saw over 200 writers put forward for the list. Highlighting the diversity and talent of the region’s literature, fifteen countries are represented on the list (see below): Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Perú, Puerto Rico, República Dominicana, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The announcement comes ten years after the first Bogotá 39 selection was made to mark Bogotá as World Book Capital 2007. A marker for a generation of Latin American literature, writers from that list went on to become renowned names of Hispanic literature, including Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Daniel Alarcón, Guadalupe Nettel and Alejandro Zambra. The list was revealed at the 30th International Book Fair of Bogota (FILBO) featuring two of the jurors Darío Jaramillo and Carmeen Boullos, editor Margarita Valencía, project coordinator Camilo Hoyos, and International Director of Hay Festival Cristina Fuentes La Roche. Cristina Fuentes La Roche, International Director of Hay Festival, said: “Ten years on from our first Bogotá39 selection in 2007, we are delighted to reveal a new list of writers to mark a new generation of Latin American writing talent. With events now running annually in Colombia, Peru and Mexico, we are proud to use this platform to celebrate the continent’s emerging literary stars. We hope the Bogotá39-2017 are as warmly received as their predecessors.”

The selected authors: Carlos Manuel Álvarez (Cuba) Frank Báez (Dominican Republic) Natalia Borges Polesso (Brasil) Giuseppe Caputo (Colombia) Juan Cárdenas (Colombia) Mauro Javier Cárdenas (Ecuador) María José Caro (Perú) Martín Felipe Castagnet (Argentina) Liliana Colanzi (Bolivia) Juan Esteban Constaín (Colombia) Lola Copacabana (Argentina) Gonzalo Eltesch (Chile) Diego Erlan (Argentina) Daniel Ferreira (Colombia) Carlos Fonseca (Costa Rica) Damián González Bertolino (Uruguay) Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón (Puerto Rico) Gabriela Jauregui (Mexico) Laia Jufresa (Mexico) Mauro Libertella (Argentina) Brenda Lozano (Mexico) Valeria Luiselli (Mexico) Alan Mills (Guatemala) Emiliano Monge (Mexico) Mónica Ojeda (Ecuador) Eduardo Plaza (Chile) Eduardo Rabasa (Mexico) Felipe Restrepo Pombo (Colombia) Juan Manuel Robles (Peru) Cristian Romero (Colombia) Juan Pablo Ronconce (Chile) Daniel Saldaña París (Mexico) Samanta Schweblin (Argentina) Jesús Miguel Soto (Venezuela) Luciana Sousa (Argentina) Mariana torres (Brasil) Valentín Trujillo (Uruguay) Claudia Ulloa Donoso (Peru) Diego Zúñiga (Chile).

You can find more information on the individual authors on the Hay Festival’s website or on the BBC (in Spanish).

As to their work in general, Francesco Manetto remarks in El País that even though many of them come from conflict-ridden countries, the social dimension passes into the background. What they are interested in are personal links, between couples or parents and children. And although Latin America might appear as a “rural” continent, most of the stories are set in urban environments; e.g. of the country with most authors on the list, Mexico, all seven are from the capital, Mexico City.

SOURCE: Hay Festival; El País, May 6, 2017

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