Sidewalks | Granta

  • Published: 02/05/2013
  • ISBN: 9781847085191
  • 135x20mm
  • 208 pages

Sidewalks

Valeria Luiselli

Translated by Christina MacSweeney

Evocative, erudite and consistently surprising, these narrative essays explore the places – real and imagined – that shape our lives. Whether wandering the familiar streets of her neighbourhood, revisiting the landmarks of her past, or getting lost in a foreign city, Valeria Luiselli plots a unique and exhilarating course that traces unexpected pathways between diverse ideas and reveals the world from a fresh perspective. Here, we follow Luiselli as she cycles around Mexico City, shares a cigarette with the night porter in her Harlem apartment, and hunts down a poet’s tomb in Venice. Each location sparks Luiselli’s nimble curiosity and prompts imaginative reflections and inventions on topics as varied as the fluidity of identity, the elusiveness of words that can’t be translated, the competing methods of arranging a bookcase, and the way that city-dwellers evade eye-contact with their neighbours while spying on their lives. Sidewalks cements Luiselli’s reputation as one of Latin America’s most original, smart and exciting new literary voices.

All year I've been telling people to read Luiselli's glancing, subtle essays, in Sidewalks

Adam Thirlwell, Books of the Year, TLS

Vivid and shrewd

Sophie Hughes, Times Literary Supplement

Lucidly intelligent

Michael Jacobs, Daily Telegraph

The Author

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the essay collection Sidewalks; the novels Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth; and Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and McSweeney’s, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. She lives in New York City.

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‘Perhaps it is the way he’s able to delicately tap into the most disturbing layers of reality and turn our conception of what is normal inside out. Perhaps it’s because he’s always telling a deeper, sadder, more disquieting story while pretending to narrate another.’