COVID-19 in Latin America Round Table Series: Latin American Literature in the Times of Epidemics


in the times of epidemics


Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Lina Meruane

Chair: Olivia Vázquez-Medina, Wadham College

The talk will be in Spanish



This event will take place on Zoom
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Juan Gabriel Vásqueis a Colombian writer, journalist and translator. He is the author of seven novels, two volumes of stories and two books of literary essays, as well as hundreds of pages of political commentary. His novel El sonido de las cosas al caer (The Sound of Things Falling) published in Spanish in 2011, won the Alfaguara Novel Prize and the 2014 International Dublin Literary Award, among other prizes. His novels are currently published in 28 languages and have earned numerous awards; his most recent novel, La forma de las ruinas (The Shape of Ruins) was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize in 2019.  Vásquez writes regularly for El Espectador in Bogotá and El País in Madrid. In 2016 he was made Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture, and in 2018 was granted the Orden de Isabel la Católica in Spain.


Lina Meruane is a Chilean writer and scholar based at NYU. She is the author of a short-story collection, a play, five novels, and several books of essays. Her novel Sangre en el ojo was awarded the prestigious Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize (Mexico) in 2012 and has been translated into English, Italian, German, Dutch, French and Portuguese. Meruane has also received the Anna Seghers Prize (Berlin, 2011) and Calamo Prize (Spain, 2016), as well as literary fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (US 2004), the National Endowment for the Arts (US 2010) and the DAAD Artists in Berlin Program (Germany 2017). Her most recent novel, Sistema nervioso, was published in 2018.   Her scholarly work includes a monograph on the impact of AIDS in Latin American literature, Viajes virales: la crisis del contagio global en la escritura del sida (Fondo de Cultura Económica Chile and Mexico, 2012), translated into English as Viral Voyages: Tracing AIDS in Latin America (Palgrave McMillan, 2014).


Chair: Olivia Vázquez-Medina is an Associate Professor in Spanish and Fellow in Spanish at Wadham College, Oxford.  Her research centres on modern and contemporary Spanish American fiction, with a particular focus on literary accounts of illness and disease, embodiment, sensory perception, affect and emotion. She has published several articles on these topics, as well as a monograph on representations of the body in historical novels from the late 20th century, Cuerpo, historia y textualidad en Augusto Roa Bastos, Fernando del Paso y Gabriel García Márquez (Madrid: Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2013).