Three young women learn that the world is not quite as it seems, as tragic external and political factors cast shadows on their personal lives, in the latest works by these international authors. Estonian author Kai Aareleid tells the saga of a young girl growing up in Soviet Estonia in Burning Cities. Filipina-American author Joanne Ramos raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify the future of those they love in her highly-anticipated debut, The Farm. Debut Spanish author Gabriela Ybarra’s autobiographical, The Dinner Guest, pieces together the kidnapping and murder of her grandfather by terrorists. The conversation will be moderated by Niyosha Keyzad.
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Kai Aareleid is an award-winning Estonian prose writer, poet and translator. She has published the novels Russian Blood (2011) and Burning Cities (2016), two books of poetry and a collection of short stories, Secret Lives (2018). A prolific literary translator from Spanish, Finnish and English, she has translated into Estonian works by Bruce Chatwin, Javier Marías, Roberto Bolaño and Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Her novel Burning Cities was published by Peter Owen Publishers in 2018 and her poems were included in the anthology New Baltic Poetry, (Parthian Books, 2018). She is currently a freelance writer, translator and lecturer. Supported by the Estonian Studies Centre/VEMU and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Michele Daniels is a visual merchandiser, an artist, and a book lover based in Toronto. When she’s not reading and reviewing books (often with a caramel macchiato in hand), Michele can be found making/learning/enjoying art around the city or on her travels. 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of her blog Just a Lil’ Lost, where she posts reviews and other book-related features. Family lore has it that she started reading when she was 3 and hasn’t put a book down since.
Niyosha Keyzad is a PhD Candidate at the Department of English and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on memoirs of the Iranian diaspora, and literatures of exile and displacement.
Joanne Ramos was born in the Philippines and moved to Wisconsin when she was six. She graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University. After working in investment banking and private-equity investing, she became a staff writer at The Economist. She currently serves on the board of The Moth and lives in New York City with her family. The Farm, her debut novel, is a national bestseller and has been long-listed for the Center of Fiction’s 2019 First Novel Prize.
Gabriela Ybarra was born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1983. She currently lives in Madrid were she writes and works in social media analysis. The Dinner Guest is her first novel and was published to critical acclaim in Spain, where it won the Euskadi Literature Prize 2016, and in the UK, where it was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize. She occasionally writes for El País. Her appearance is with the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).