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Beyond Borges: Argentina’s Unsung Literary Greats

April 18, 2018 7:00 pm

Book Culture | 26-09 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

A 2018 PEN America World Voices Festival event, co-sponsored by Words Without Borders


We all know Argentinean sensations like Julio Cortázar, Samanta Schweblin, and César Aira. And in recent years, writers like Silvina Ocampo and Antonio di Benedetto have slowly begun to get their due. But many other twentieth-century greats—including Osvaldo Lamborghini, Norah Lange, and Sara Gallardo—continue to languish in the shadows. Join acclaimed Argentinean writer Sergio Chejfec, translators Esther Allen, Heather Cleary, and Charlotte Whittle, and esteemed editor Edwin Frank to discuss the legendary Argentinean writers you should be reading but probably aren’t. Moderated by Words Without Borders editor Eric M. B. Becker.

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 7:00pm-8:30pm

Location: Book Culture, 26-09 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101

Free with RSVP.  Please register here.

Wine reception generously sponsored by Huarpe Wines.



Edwin Frank is the author of Snake Train: Poems 1984-2013 and the founder and editor of the New York Review Books Classics series.



Heather Cleary translated Sergio Chejfec’s The Planets and The Dark, both nominated for national translation awards. She is a founding editor of the digital, bilingual Buenos Aires Review and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. Her translation of Roque Larraquy’s Comemadre will be out this July.

Sergio Chejfec is an Argentine writer of narrative and essays who lives in New York City. His books in English include: Baroni, A Journey (Almost Island, New Delhi, 2017); The Incomplete Ones (forthcoming); The Dark (Open Letter, 2013); The Planets (Open Letter, 2012); and My Two Worlds, (Open Letter, 2011).​


Charlotte Whittle’s translations and writing have appeared in The Literary Review, Los Angeles Times, Guernica, Electric Literature, BOMB, Northwest Review of Books, and elsewhere. Her translation of Norah Lange’s People in the Room is forthcoming from And Other Stories.  She lives in New York and is an editor at Cardboard House Press. 


Esther Allen co-founded the PEN World Voices Festival with Salman Rushdie and Michael Roberts in 2005. Her translation of Antonio di Benedetto’s 1956 novel Zama (NYRB Classics) received the 2017 National Translation Award for Prose from the American Literary Translators Association.


Eric M. B. Becker is editor of Words Without Borders and translator of several books from the Portuguese. He has received grants and fellowships from PEN America, the Fulbright Commission, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum. He is also the co-editor the PEN America anthology Women Writing Brazil.



This event is co-sponsored by Words Without Borders as part of the 2018 PEN America World Voices Festival. 

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