Award-Winning Author and IES Abroad Professor Speaks with Students

Award-winning author Juan Gabriel Vasquez recently engaged in a session of questions and answers with journalist Justin Webster and then with IES Abroad students.

In his conversation he spoke about the authors that have had an impact on him as a writer, such as Joseph Conrad and Philip Roth, as well as the authors of the Latin American literary boom.

He also provided insight into his creative process and explained that the thought of the past as a dynamic entity plays a enormous role in his work. He shared that he sees the past as an incomplete and biased story waiting to be rewritten--and that it is the duty of the novelist to do so.

After the formal event there has been a reception with the author and IES Abroad students to informally continue the discussion.

IES Abroad Barcelona faculty member Juan Gabriel Vasquez won the 2011 Alfaguara Prize for his latest novel, El Ruido de las Cosas al Caer (The Sound of Things Falling).

Vasquez, who has been with IES Abroad Barcelona since 2006, teaches the course "Barcelona & The Latin American Literary Boom." His other books include The Secret History of Costaguana and The Informers.

Alfaguara is an important Spanish language publishing house, founded by the Nobel Prize-winner Camilo Jose Cela, and now owned by Grupo Santillana. It publishes, among others, the Nobel Prize-winner Mario Vargas Llosa.

The Alfaguara prize is particularly important because in addition to the author receiving a cash prize, the prize-winning book is distributed simultaneously in Spain, Latin America, and the U.S.

More than 600 works were considered for the 2011 prize.

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