National Endowment for the Arts and Embassy of Spain
Washington, DC -- A 2007 partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Embassy of Spain has resulted in the English translation and publication of Unai Elorriaga's Basque novel, Plants Don't Drink Coffee. Published by Archipelago Books, the new work translated by Amaia Gabantxo will be presented at an event on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm at Inter-American Development Bank's Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center (1330 New York Avenue NW). This event marks the Embassy's launch of its cultural program during Spain's presidency of the European Union: PREVIEW SPAIN Arts&Culture10. It is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unai Elorriaga and Amaia Gabantxo will read short excerpts from the novel in Basque and English, followed by a discussion with the audience. The event will conclude with a book signing and reception.
Plants Don't Drink Coffee follows young Tomas and three generations of his family in the Bilbao region of Spain on their odd adventures, stumbling upon a host of small wonders that open our eyes to the bounty of tiny marvels that make up our world. Told from four different perspectives, the novel flips on their heads standard assumptions about age, wisdom, sensibility, and truth.
This project helps provide American readers with greater access to quality foreign literary work in translation. The reading at the Inter-American Development Bank is part of a five-city book tour to New York City, Washington, DC, Memphis, Reno, and Boston.
Unai Elorriaga was born in 1973 in Bilbao, where he is currently a professor at the Instituto Labairu. He is the author of three novels written in Basque and self-translated into Spanish, including Van't Hoffen ilea (Van't Hoff's Hair), and his 2002 debut, SPrako Tranbia (A Tram to SP), winner of Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Narrativa. Elorriaga's numerous anthologized short stories have also been widely acclaimed.
Amaia Gabantxo is a literary translator, writer, and book critic. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and newspapers, including the Times Literary Supplement and The Independent. Her translation of Anjel Lertxundi's Perfect Happiness was released by the University of Nevada Press in 2007. She moonlights as a flamenco singer.
The Embassy of Spain, together with the Spain-USA Foundation, is pleased to present the third annual edition of PREVIEW SPAIN Arts&Culture to celebrate the Spanish Presidency of the European Union during the first semester of 2010, in partnership with numerous US and Spanish institutions.
PREVIEW SPAIN Arts&Culture was introduced in 2008 to generate awareness in the Washington area of contemporary trends from Spain, highlighting its cultural heritage. This annual programs is produced in anticipation of the 2012 opening of SPAIN/US HOUSE in DC, a venue for the promotion and strengthening of Spanish and US relations, with special outreach to America's Hispanic communities.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
The IDB Cultural Center of the Inter-American Development Bank was created in 1992 to advance the concept of culture as an integral component of development. The Center has two primary objectives: (1) contribute to social development by administering a grants program for small-scale cultural projects in the Region with positive social impact, and (2) promote a better image of the IDB member countries, with emphasis on Latin America and the Caribbean, through their cultural expressions.
Archipelago Books is not-for-profit press devoted to classic and contemporary international prose and poetry. In its first five years, they have published over 50 titles from more than 20 languages.
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