The 2012 Spanish session took place on Monday, May 21st: moderated by Antonio Muñoz Molina.
'Jorge Luis Borges' Library
211 East 49th Street / NY, NY 10017
Sepharad (Spanish 2001) (English Harcourt, c2003) Transl. by Margaret Sayers Peden who received the PEN award / Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize in 2004-. In Sepharad Antonio Muñoz Molina tells 17 different stories about the Sephardic Diaspora, the Holocaust, and Stalin's purges. With a mix of both fictional and historical figures, each of their stories concerns a life that can be undone by a decree from the state or religion. With connections and allusions that wrap back and forth between each story, Molina explores the concept of identity and how it can be created or erased by history, the persecution due to religion or ethnicity, the arrest without charges, families torn asunder by war and evil, and the lives shattered on a moment's notice. Sepharad is a powerful and cautionary novel that has received strong reviews, from "a rich and complex story" (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) to "this tender and terrible book" (San Francisco Chronicle)
Antonio Muñoz Molina (1956, Úbeda, in Jaén province) is one of the most celebrated Spanish authors. He studied art history at the University of Granada and journalism in Madrid. Both a Journalist and novelist his columns have regularly appeared in newspapers like El País and Die Welt. He began writing in the 1980s and his first published book, El Robinsón urbano, a collection of his journalistic work, was published in 1984. His first novel Beatus ille (1986) (translated as A Manuscript of Ashes) features the imaginary city of Mágina — a re-creation of his Andalusien birthplace — which would reappear in some his later works. Winner of prestigious awards: In 1987 the Spain's National Narrative Prize for El invierno en Lisboa (translated as Winter in Lisbon), a homage to the genres of film noir; his El jinete polaco received the ‘Premio Planeta’ in 1991 and, again, the ‘Premio Nacional de Narrativa’ in 1992. Sepharad was the international breakthrough for the author. Margaret Sayers Peden's English-language translation of Muñoz Molina's novel Sepharad won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize in 2004. His other novels include Beltenebros (1989), Los misterios de Madrid (1992), En ausencia de Blanca (2001) (translated as In her absence), El dueño del secreto (1994), Las ventanas de Manhattan (2004), La noche de los tiempos (2009).
Since the 8th of June, 1995 Muñoz Molina is a full member of the ‘Royal Spanish Academy’. He was also director of our ‘Cervantes Institute’ in NY from 2004-2005. He now divides his time between Madrid and New York and is teaching at NYU. http://antoniomuñozmolina.es/
The author of Sepharad, Antonio Muñoz Molina, will moderate the session.
For more information about the European Book Club, visit http://europeanbookclub.org/