Faces in the Crowd

Honoree, 5 Under 35 2014

Faces in the Crowd cover
ISBN 9781847085061
Coffee House Press
Luiselli author photo large, photo credit: hoto credit: Alfredo Pelcastre
Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. A novelist and an essayist, her work has been translated into many languages. In 2014, Faces in the Crowd was the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honoree. More about this author >

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Christina MacSweeney, Translator

A young mother in Mexico City, captive to a past that both overwhelms and liberates her, and a house she cannot abandon nor fully occupy, writes a novel of her days as a translator living in New York. A young translator, adrift in Harlem, is desperate to translate and publish the works of Gilberto Owen, an obscure Mexican poet who lived in Harlem during the 1920s, and whose ghostly presence haunts her in the city’s subways. And Gilberto Owen, dying in Philadelphia in the 1950s, convinced he is slowly disappearing, recalls his heyday decades before, his friendships with Nella Larsen, Louis Zukofsky, and Federico Garcia Lorca, and the young woman in a red coat he saw in the windows of passing trains. As the voices of the narrators overlap and merge, they drift into one single stream, an elegiac evocation of love and loss.


Valeria Luiselli and Karen Tei Yamashita at the 2014 5 Under 35 Celebration