It’s my first time in Beijing and I find myself reading Valeria Luiselli. We’ve come separately to Beijing to attend the Bookworm Literary Festival; Luiselli is promoting her new novel The Story of My Teeth, whereas I’ve come to sit in the audience and learn about literature in translation.
Luiselli is a writer of empty spaces, or ‘relingos’, an architectural term she adopts as a motif in her 2013 essay collection, Sidewalks. Her book maps out the landscapes of Mexico City, Venice, New York and elsewhere, with a focus on areas, real and imaginary, left to abandon. It feels appropriate to read Luiselli in Beijing. It’s a city so geographically large, so densely populated, yet to the keen eye, filled with absences.
Continue reading on The Lifted Brow website.
[First published on The Lifted Brow website on 25 April 2016]