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march, 2022

10marthuElena Medel - The Wonders7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Event Type :Virtual Event

Event Details

THE WONDERS is a novel about money: about the way in which money (or the absence of money) defines our lives and limits our opportunities. It’s also a novel about being a woman, and about the way in which our gender defines our biography: care, family, motherhood.”

On Thursday, March 10 at 7 PM CST, join us (virtually) with author Elena Medel and translator Lizzie Davis for a virtual discussion and Q+A in celebration of the release of THE WONDERS.

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THE WONDERS follows Maria and Alicia through the streets of Madrid from job to job and apartment to apartment, chronicling their everyday choices between love and sex, family and freedom, stability and meaning, in an ever-precarious world. Maria moved to the city in 1969 for more opportunity, hoping to eventually save enough money to take care of the young daughter she left behind with her family. She works as a housekeeper, caregiver, and cleaner, but is drawn in by the political activism of the local neighborhood association, silently waiting for her chance to voice her opinions among legions of men. Two decades later, Alicia works at the snack shop in the Atocha train station, counting down the hours until she can clock out and find a stranger to take her away from her mediocre life. After the untimely suicide of her father and the loss of the luxurious lifestyle she grew up with, Alicia’s grand plans of attending university, finding a high-paying job, and buying a house in a nice neighborhood have slipped through her fingers. Unknowingly tracing each other’s footsteps across time, these two women’s lives finally collide the day of the 2018 Madrid Women’s March, putting them face to face with the past mistakes they thought they left behind.

Elena Medel is a Spanish poet and the founder and publisher of La Bella Varsovia, an independent poetry publishing house. Medel was the first woman ever to win the prestigious Francisco Umbral Prize, for her debut novel The Wonders, which was also longlisted for the Finestres Award and has been translated into fifteen languages. She published her prizewinning first collection of poetry, My First Bikini, when she was sixteen years old.

Kevin Gerry Dunn is a Spanish/English translator whose projects include Countersexual Manifesto by Paul B. Preciado and Easy Reading by Cristina Morales (for which he received a PEN/Heim Grant, a PEN Translates Award, and a residency at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre), as well as works by Daniela Tarazona, Ousman Umar and Cristian Perfumo. His shorter translations have appeared in Granta, Financial Times, Michigan Quarterly Review, Latin American Literature Today and Asymptote. He also heads the FTrMP Project, an effort to make Spanish translations of vital migration paperwork available for free online.

Lizzie Davis is a translator and an editor at Coffee House Press. She has translated Elena Medel’s poetry collection My First Bikini, Juan Cárdenas’s Ornamental (a finalist for the 2021 PEN Translation Prize), and work by Valeria Luiselli, Pilar Fraile Amador, and Aura García-Junco. Her work has appeared in the Paris ReviewGranta, and other publications.

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PRAISE FOR THE WONDERS

 

“I read The Wonders is one page-turning night. Yet to describe Elena Medel’s debut as gripping is to miss the point. An unflinching story about class, sex, family, and working women everywhere, this book achieves a rare combination of novelistic plotting and virtuosic interiority that left me rooting for Maria and Alicia as if I’d known them all my life.”
—Anna Solomon, author of The Book of V.

“A mesmerizing read. Medel’s prose is hypnotic–it’s hard to believe this is her first novel. I was completely engrossed in this story, in the shadow each generation casts on the one that comes after it, in the tension between caring for oneself and caring for others.”
Avni Doshi, author of the Booker Prize finalist Burnt Sugar

“Medel’s sensitive debut, charged with feminist insights but never losing sight of the particularities of its characters, weaves together the stories of two women whose deeper connection only becomes clear as the novel approaches its end . . . Spanish novelist Medel astutely examines the forces–political, economic, familial, and personal–that have shaped the two women’s richly detailed lives. Though penned in by class and gender, often in ways they do not recognize, Maria and Alicia come across not as simple victims but as struggling survivors, still open to change.”
Booklist, starred review

“Dreamlike yet precise, internal yet expansive, The Wonders moves between generations of women with a clear-eyed empathy for their struggles to be free. Medel’s characters are hungry, angry, imperfect, and completely alive.”
Adrienne Celt, author of Invitation to a Bonfire and End of the World House 

“Completely unsentimental and with a harshness that hides the most radiant and painful of scars, Elena Medel’s The Wonders brings to life several generations of working women: it’s a serene and impious novel that puts class, feminism, and the eternal complexity of family ties at the fore.” 
Mariana Enriquez, author of Things We Lost in The Fire and the Booker Prize finalist The Dangers of Smoking in Bed

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Time

(Thursday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location

The Wild Detectives

314 W 8th St, Oak Cliff, Dallas

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