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Lit & Luz Festival 2021

Lit & Luz Festival 2021

The Lit & Luz Festival is a one-of-a-kind series of events featuring renowned authors and visual artists from Chicago and Mexico in cultural exchange and conversation. This series of readings, conversations, artist talks, and performances, which culminates in a Live Magazine Finale, highlights new translations and artistic collaborations—showcasing some of the most innovative contemporary writers and artists from both countries. This playlist showcases past and present Lit & Luz participants.

Playlist Tags: topic: in translation festival

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The Grip of It

By Jac Jemc
Narrated by: Amy McFadden & Michael David Axtell
Length: 6 hours 30 minutes

Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. The move—prompted by James’ penchant for gambling, his inability to keep his impulses in check—is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to leave behind their usual haunts and start afresh.

But this house, which sits between lake and forest, has plans...

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Dragonfish

A Novel

By Vu Tran
Narrated by: Tom Taylorson & Nancy Wu
Length: 9 hours 7 minutes

Robert, an Oakland cop, still can't let go of Suzy, the enigmatic Vietnamese wife who left him two years ago. Now she's disappeared from her new husband, Sonny, a violent Vietnamese smuggler and gambler who's blackmailing Robert into finding her for him. As he pursues her through the sleek and seamy gambling dens of Las Vegas, shadowed by... Read more »

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Finna

Poems

By Nate Marshall
Narrated by: Nate Marshall
Length: 1 hours 35 minutes

Sharp, lyrical poems celebrating the Black vernacular—its influence on pop culture, its necessity for familial survival, its rite in storytelling and in creating the safety found only within its intimacy

“Terrific . . . illuminates life in this country in a strikingly original way.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF... Read more »

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A Cruelty Special to Our Species

Poems

By Emily Jungmin Yoon
Narrated by: Emily Jungmin Yoon
Length: 1 hours 17 minutes

A piercing debut collection of poems exploring gender, race, and violence from a sensational new talent.

In her arresting collection, urgently relevant for our times, poet Emily Jungmin Yoon confronts the histories of sexual violence against women, focusing in particular on Korean so-called “comfort women,” women who were forced into sexual labor...

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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

By Erika L. Sánchez
Narrated by: Kyla Garcia
Length: 9 hours 40 minutes

National Book Award Finalist!
Instant New York Times Bestseller!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home. 

 
Perfect... Read more »

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The Wild Book

By Juan Villoro
Narrated by: Mark Sanderlin
Length: 5 hours 24 minutes

“We walked toward the part of the library where the air smelled as if it had been interred for years….. Finally, we got to the hallway where the wooden floor was the creakiest, and we sensed a strange whiff of excitement and fear. It smelled like a creature from a bygone time. It smelled like a dragon.”


Thirteen-year-old Juan’s summer is off to a... Read more »

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Horizontal Vertigo

A City Called Mexico

By Juan Villoro
Narrated by: Gabriel Porras
Length: 16 hours 30 minutes

At once intimate and wide-ranging, and as enthralling, surprising, and vivid as the place itself, this is a uniquely eye-opening tour of one of the great metropolises of the world, and its largest Spanish-speaking city.
 
Horizontal Vertigo: The title refers to the fear of ever-impending earthquakes that led Mexicans to build their capital city... Read more »

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On Immunity

By Eula Biss
Narrated by: Tamara Marston
Length: 6 hours 22 minutes

Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear—fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child's air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.

In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and...

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Having and Being Had

By Eula Biss
Narrated by: Alex McKenna
Length: 7 hours 14 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS CHOICE

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME , NPR, INSTYLE, AND GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

“A sensational new book [that] tries to figure out whether its possible to live an ethical life in a capitalist society. . . . The results are enthralling.” —Associated Press 

A timely and arresting new look at affluence by the New York...
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Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey

A Novel

By Kathleen Rooney
Narrated by: Juliana Canfield & Noah Michael Levine
Length: 11 hours 13 minutes

"Both heartbreaking and sharply funny...Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey is brilliant and surprising at every turn."—Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers

A heart-tugging and gorgeously written novel based on the incredible true story of a WWI messenger pigeon and the soldiers whose lives she forever altered, from the author of...
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Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

A Novel

By Kathleen Rooney
Narrated by: Xe Sands
Length: 8 hours 50 minutes

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

“Join 85-year-old Lillian on a New Year's Eve stroll through Manhattan, a city as changed by time as Lillian herself. As with Joyce's Ulysses, the reader is privy to a life told in snapshots of memory within a single day. Based loosely on the life of Margaret Fishback, Lillian is a former Depression-era advertising copywriter for R.H. Macy's and a poet of light verse. She is also a mother and an ex-wife. Rooney's work has a light touch, but she is never frivolous. Rooney has the capacity to portray depth within brevity, pain within humor. Here is a novel that both entertains and enlightens, a balance rarely achieved.”

Bookbug image Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug
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Hardmouth

A Novel

By Amanda Goldblatt
Narrated by: Chelsea Stephens
Length: 7 hours 20 minutes

For ten years, Denny's father has battled cancer. The drawn-out loss has forged Denny into a dazed, antisocial young woman. On the clock, she works as a lab tech, readying fruit flies for experimentation. In her spare time, only her parents, an aggressively kind best friend, and her blowhard imaginary pal Gene—who she knows isn't real—ornament... Read more »

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The House of Broken Angels

By Luis Alberto Urrea
Narrated by: Luis Alberto Urrea
Length: 9 hours 46 minutes

In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist (San Francisco Chronicle), the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend.

"All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death."

In his... Read more »

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The Devil's Highway

A True Story

By Luis Alberto Urrea
Narrated by: Luis Alberto Urrea
Length: 8 hours 53 minutes

From a Pulitzer Prize finalist, "the single most compelling, lucid, and lyrical contemporary account of the absurdity of U.S. border policy" (The Atlantic).

In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the "Devil's Highway." Three years... Read more »

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Queen of America

A Novel

By Luis Alberto Urrea
Narrated by: Luis Alberto Urrea
Length: 17 hours 41 minutes

At turns heartbreaking, uplifting, fiercely romantic, and riotously funny, Queen of America tells the unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age and finding her place in a new world.

Beginning where Luis Alberto Urrea's bestselling The Hummingbird's Daughter left off, Queen of America finds young Teresita Urrea, beloved healer and "Saint... Read more »

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Into the Beautiful North

A Novel

By Luis Alberto Urrea
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Length: 11 hours 30 minutes

Nineteen-year-old Nayeli works at a taco shop in her Mexican village and dreams about her father, who journeyed to the US to find work. Recently, it has dawned on her that he isn't the only man who has left town. In fact, there are almost no men in the village -- they've all gone north. While watching The Magnificent Seven, Nayeli decides to go... Read more »

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The Water Museum

Stories

By Luis Alberto Urrea
Narrated by: Luis Alberto Urrea
Length: 6 hours 22 minutes

From one of America's preeminent literary voices comes a story collection that proves once again why the writing of Luis Alberto Urrea has been called "wickedly good" (Kansas City Star), "cinematic and charged" (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and "studded with delights" (Chicago Tribune).

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between... Read more »

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Tell Me How It Ends

An Essay in 40 Questions

By Valeria Luiselli
Narrated by: Laurence Bouvard
Length: 2 hours 33 minutes

A damning confrontation between the American dream and the reality of undocumented children seeking a new life in the US.

Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman's essay of the same name) humanizes these young... Read more »

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The Story of My Teeth

By Valeria Luiselli
Narrated by: Armando Durán & Thom Rivera
Length: 4 hours 7 minutes

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...

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Desierto Sonoro / Lost Children Archive: A novel

By Valeria Luiselli
Narrated by: Marina De Tavira
Length: 13 hours 13 minutes

NOVELA GANADORA DEL PREMIO LITERARIO DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2021.

Un matrimonio en crisis viaja en coche con sus dos hijos pequeños desde Nueva York hasta Arizona. Ambos son documentalistas y cada uno se concentra en un proyecto propio: él está tras los rastros de la última banda apache en rendirse al poder militar estadounidense; ella busca...
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