Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli

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The author plants ideas – like suggesting that all the characters are dead throughout – that are never confirmed. She leaves us juggling with possibilities.
-Guardian

Synopsis

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"An extraordinary new literary talent."--The Daily Telegraph

"In part a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this deceptively modest-seeming, astonishingly inventive novel creates an extraordinary intimacy, a sensibility so alive it quietly takes over all your senses, quivering through your nerve endings, opening your eyes and heart. Youth, from unruly student years to early motherhood and a loving marriage--and then, in the book's second half, wilder and something else altogether, the fearless, half-mad imagination of youth, I might as well call it—has rarely been so freshly, charmingly, and unforgettably portrayed. Valeria Luiselli is a masterful, entirely original writer."--Francisco Goldman

In Mexico City, a young mother is writing a novel of her days as a translator living in New York. In Harlem, a translator is desperate to publish the works of Gilberto Owen, an obscure Mexican poet. And in Philadelphia, Gilberto Owen recalls his friendship with Lorca, and the young woman he saw in the windows of passing trains. Valeria Luiselli's debut signals the arrival of a major international writer and an unexpected and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.

"Luiselli's haunting debut novel, about a young mother living in Mexico City who writes a novel looking back on her time spent working as a translator of obscure works at a small independent press in Harlem, erodes the concrete borders of everyday life with a beautiful, melancholy contemplation of disappearance. . . . Luiselli plays with the idea of time and identity with grace and intuition." —Publishers Weekly
 

About Valeria Luiselli

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Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. Her novel and essays have been translated into many languages and her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney's. Some of her recent projects include a ballet libretto for the choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, performed by the New York City Ballet in Lincoln Center in 2010; a pedestrian sound installation for the Serpentine Gallery in London; and a novella in installments for workers in a juice factory in Mexico. She lives in New York City.
 
Published April 21, 2014 by Coffee House Press. 162 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Faces in the Crowd
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 19 2014

A debut novel that never lets readers forget it’s a novel, toying with them on multiple levels...Ultimately, a novel that is no more (or less) than words on the page.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Mina Holland on May 05 2012

The author plants ideas – like suggesting that all the characters are dead throughout – that are never confirmed. She leaves us juggling with possibilities.

Read Full Review of Faces in the Crowd | See more reviews from Guardian

LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Hector Tobar on May 15 2014

...a wonderful contribution to the long tradition by which authors re-imagine their cities as dream-like spaces created for them to wander around, daydream and discover.

Read Full Review of Faces in the Crowd | See more reviews from LA Times

Reader Rating for Faces in the Crowd
75%

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