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The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
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The Story of My Teeth

$12.56

Retail price: $13.95

Discount: 9%

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Translator Christina MacSweeney
Length 4 hours 7 minutes
Language English
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The story of “Highway” Sánchez—bon vivant, world traveler, auctioneer—and his teeth is like Johnny Cash meets Robert Walser in Mexico.

“I was born in Pachuca, the Beautiful Windy City, with four premature teeth and my body completely covered in a very fine coat of fuzz. But I’m grateful for that inauspicious start because ugliness, as my other uncle, Eurípides López Sánchez, was given to saying, is character forming.”

Gustavo “Highway” Sánchez Sánchez is a late-in-life world traveler, yarn spinner, collector, and legendary auctioneer. His most precious possessions are the teeth of the “notorious infamous,” like Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf.

Written in collaboration with the workers at a Jumex juice factory, The Story of My Teeth is an elegant, witty, exhilarating romp through the industrial suburbs of Mexico City and Luiselli’s own literary influences.

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. In 2014 she was honored as part of the National Book Foundation’s list of “5 under 35.” Her debut novel, Faces in the Crowd, earned rave reviews and won the Los Angeles Times’ 2015 Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Luiselli’s fiction and essays have been translated into many languages, and her work has appeared in such publications as Granta, McSweeney’s, and the New York Times

Armando Durán has appeared in films, television, and regional theaters throughout the West Coast. For the last decade he has been a member of the resident acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2009 he was named by AudioFile as Best Voice in Biography and History for his narration of Che Guevara. A native Californian, he divides his time between Los Angeles and Ashland, Oregon.

Read by Thom Rivera, Dawn Harvey, Carol Monda, Hillary Huber, Bernadette Dunne, and Kyla Garcia

Christina MacSweeney has an MA in literary translation from the University of East Anglia. She has translated Valeria Luiselli’s novel Faces in the Crowd and collection of essays, Sidewalks. She has also contributed to a wide variety of literary magazines and websites, including McSweeney’s, Brick magazine, and Granta.

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Reviews

The Story of My Teeth explores the meaning of home through the antics of an auctioneer, told in his own hyperbolic fashion.”

“Luiselli is as much a cartographer as a writer, interested in finding areas still unmapped…She combines fictional narrative with historical and intellectual points of reference, and the result is writing without preconceptions, as airy and open as a soccer field.”

“Quirky doesn’t begin to capture the wacky inventiveness of Valeria Luiselli’s second novel. The Story of My Teeth is a playful, philosophical funhouse of a read that demonstrates that not only isn’t experimental fiction dead, it needn’t be deadly, either. Luiselli’s elastic mind comfortably stretches to wrap itself around molars, Montaigne, fortune cookies and various theories of meaning.”

“This kind of writing—direct and gentle, affectionate and satirical, precise and imaginative, memorable and efficient—appears throughout, and the character of Gustavo is brought to life with exquisite imaginative power and beautifully judged tics and cadences…It is a sad, beautiful, and brilliant book. It will endure.”

“Quirky and charming, The Story of My Teeth is a delightful meditation on art, value, and truth.”

“The Story of My Teeth has a Joycean playfulness with words, events, structure, literary theory, languages, and human nature.”

“Surprising and charming…It’s difficult not to follow wherever it takes you.”

“A lively, loopy experimental novel rich with musings on language, art, and, yes, teeth…The whole book is a kind of extended commentary on how possessions acquire value largely through the stories we tell about them….A clever philosophical novel that, as the author puts it, has ‘less to do with lying than surpassing the truth.’”

“A fiercely intelligent, inventive, and hilarious exploration of worth, value, and creation in the worlds of art and literature.”

“The novel’s experimental structure is full of literary allusions and bon mots from across the ages. Readers hungry for more from Luiselli will be happy with a clever variation on her style.”

“A beautiful and quick moving story on the scenic route…Luiselli makes some bold explorations into the art of value and storytelling, and it’s something that shouldn’t go quietly into the night. We need to reflect, we need to explore. Many books have come and gone that have tried to make sense of the power of fiction, and A Story of My Teeth may be the closest we’ll get…It’s a gallery of thought. It’s meant to be appreciated part for part. This is writing illuminated.”

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