Papyrus, the invention of the book in the ancient world | Irene Vallejo in conversation with Kirmen Uribe

Miércoles, 19 de abril, 7:00 pm
KJCC, 53 Washington Square S, NY 10012


Foto: James Rajotte

Fascinated by Greek and Roman legends since childhood, Irene Vallejo (Zaragoza, 1979) studied Classical Philology, earning a European Doctorate from the Universities of Zaragoza and Florence. In the libraries of Florence, she wrote her essay El infinito en un junco (Papyrus, 2019), which received extraordinary acclaim among critics and readers and has become a publishing phenomenon. Winner of the National Essay Prize, the ‘El Ojo Crítico’ Prize for Narrative by Spanish Public Radio, the Prize of the Spanish Booksellers’ Guild, the Spanish Publishers Award, the Henríquez Ureña International Essay Prize in Mexico, and the award for Civic Engagement in Defense of the Humanities, among others. It has been reprinted forty-five times in Spanish, is being translated into thirty five languages, and will be published in more than fifty countries. Wherever the book has been published, it has received a warm and enthusiastic response among readers.

Passionate about making classical authors known to the greater public, she gives talks and visits schools, universities and libraries, raising awareness of the legacy of the ancient world. She also contributes to prestigious media outlets such as El País, Heraldo de Aragón or Cadena Ser in Spain, and Milenio and Laberinto in Mexico. Her articles have been compiled in books such as Alguien habló de nosotros (2017) and El futuro recordado (2020). Noteworthy among her fictional works are La luz sepultada (2011) and El silbido del arquero (2015), a peculiar historical novel with echoes of Homer and Virgil, that is currently being translated into five languages. She has also published picture books: El inventor de viajes (2014), together with the artist José Luis Cano, and La leyenda de las mareas mansas (2015), with the painter Lina Vila, thus bringing classical legends closer to children. Toward the end of 2020, she published a brief ode to reading entitled Manifiesto de la Lectura (2020) commissioned by the Publishers´ Guild. In addition, she works with social projects such as Believe in Art, bringing art and literature to children’s hospitals.

Kirmen Uribe is a Basque Language writer, and one of the most relevant writers of his generation in Spain. He won the National Prize for Literature in Spain in 2009 for his first novel Bilbao-New York-Bilbao, a work that was acclaimed as a literary event. The languages into which his books had been translated already exceed twenty, including French (Gallimard), Japanese (Hakusui Sha) and English (Coffee House Press). His works have been published on several American publications such as The New Yorker or The Paris Review. In 2017, he was selected for the International Writers Program (IWP) in Iowa. In 2018, he won the NYPL Cullman Center Fellowship. He is now based in New York City, where he teaches Creative Writing at New York University (NYU).