Friday, September 15th at 7pm
speaking & signing
Inspired by real events, Affections is the story of the eccentric, fascinating Ertl clan, headed by the egocentric and extraordinary Hans, once the cameraman for the Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl. Shortly after the end of World War II, Hans and his family flee to Bolivia to start over. There, the ever-restless Hans decides to embark on an expedition in search of the fabled lost Inca city of Paitití, enlisting two of his daughters to join him on his outlandish quest into the depths of the Amazon, with disastrous consequences.
Set against the backdrop of the both optimistic and violent 1950s and 1960s, Affections traces the Ertls’s slow and inevitable breakdown through the various erratic trajectories of each family member: Hans’s undertakings of colossal, foolhardy projects and his subsequent spectacular failures; his daughter Monika, heir to his adventurous spirit, who joins the Bolivian Marxist guerrillas and becomes known as “Che Guevara’s avenger”; and his wife and two younger sisters left to pick up the pieces in their wake. In this short but powerful work, Hasbún weaves a masterfully layered tale of how a family’s voyage of discovery ends up eroding the affections that once held it together.
ABOUT RODRIGO HASBÚN
Rodrigo Hasbún is a Bolivian novelist living and working in Houston. In 2007, he was selected by the Hay Festival as one of the best Latin American writers under the age of thirty-nine for Bogotá39, and in 2010 he was named one of Granta’s Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists. He is the author of a previous novel and a collection of short stories, two of which have been made into films, and his work has appeared in Granta, McSweeney’s, Zoetrope: All-Story, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. Affections received an English PEN Award and has been published in twelve languages.
ABOUT SOPHIE HUGHES
Sophie Hughes has translated novels by several contemporary Latin American and Spanish authors, including Best Translated Book Award finalist Laia Jufresa (Umami), English PEN award-winning Rodrigo Hasbún (Affections), and critically-acclaimed Iván Repila (The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse). Her translations, reviews, and essays have been published in the Guardian, the White Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Music & Literature, LitHub, and elsewhere. She has worked as an editor-at-large for Asymptote and as a translation correspondent for Dazed & Confused, and in 2015 she co-guest edited a Words Without Borders issue on contemporary Mexican literature. She has also translated contemporary journalism from Mexico for English PEN, the Guardian, and a 2017 collection of essays on the assassination of journalists in the country, The Sorrows of Mexico (MacLehose). She has been the recipient of a British Centre for Literary Translation Mentorship, an Arts Foundation grant, and a PEN/Heim Literary Transation grant.
ABOUT SEAN MANNING
Sean Manning is a Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his doctorate in Spanish and Latin American literature in 2015. His research interests include poetry, literary apprenticeship, and exile literature. He has also translated numerous academic and literary texts, including a collection of short stories from the Cuban writer Lorenzo García Vega. He is currently working on Los aprendizajes del exilio by Uruguayan philosopher Carlos Pereda, Intemperie by Puerto Rican novelist Eduardo Lalo, and American Poems by the Spanish poet Azahara Palomeque.
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