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“On the basis of the dental history of the Mexican Gustavo Sanchez Sanchez, nickname Carretera (motorway) the author demonstrates that, far from being a dogged affair, the presentation of narrative principles can be a quite passionate. The reader can look forward to lively digressions between philosophy, literary satire, essay, anecdote, and dental biography which Luiselli prepares in closely-observed collaboration with employees of the Jumex juice factory in Mexico City. Translated from the Spanish with great literary expertise and accomplishment by Dagmar Ploetz.”
(The jury on the shortlist nomination 2016)
Gustavo Sánchez has a mission: Every one of his ugly teeth must be replaced. Fortunately, he is an auctionee –the world’s best auctioneer–which helps him in gathering the money needed for the new teeth. In the process he discovers that providing the objects he auctions with a story is decisive. This increases their value enormously. Nevertheless, he has a few more abilities that bring him money: After two glasses of rum he can imitate Janis Joplin, interpret fortune cookies, stand a chicken’s egg on the table like Christopher Columbus and imitate a dead man when swimming. However, his story telling is a fine art. And his collection of teeth from famous people is impressive: from Plato to Plutarch, Michel de Montaigne, Virginia Woolf and Enrique Vila-Matas. However, Sanchez has set his sights on Marilyn Monroe’s ...
Valeria Luiselli, born in Mexiko City in 1983, writes for magazines and newspapers such as Letras Libres and the New York Times. She has written librettos for the New York City Ballet and is the author of the critically acclaimed volume of essays Papeles falsos. Her essays as well as her first novel Los ingrávidos (English title: Faces in the Crowd) have been translated into several languages.. For this debut work she received the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She works as an editor, journalist, and lecturer and lives in Mexico City and New York.
Recent publications in German translation:
Dagmar Ploetz, born in 1946 in Herrsching, spent her childhood and school years in Argentina and studied German and Romance philology in Munich. From 1971-76 she was co-editor of the Literarische Hefte. From 1973-76 she worked as a publishing house editor, and subsequently as a freelance journalist. Since 1983 she has translated from Spanish (amongst others Rafel Chirbes, Gabriel García Márquez, Juan Masé). In 2005 she received the Jane Scatcherd Prize and in 2012 the Translation Prize of the City of Munich. In 2011 she was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in the category Translation for her rendition of Carlos Busqued’s novel Unter dieser furchterregenden Sonne (Bajo este sol tremendo). In 2014 she was nominated for the Internationaler Literaturpreis – Haus der Kulturen der Welt for her translation of Valeria Luiselli’s novel Die Schwerelosen (Los ingrávidos).