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Valeria Luiselli's 'Faces in the Crowd' seeks poets in a city
Valeria Luiselli's 'Faces in the Crowd' seeks poets in a city

New York, that city of bohemian encounters, has a special place in the history of Spanish-language literature. José Martí, Cuba's national poet, lived for a time in New York. So did the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, who penned "Poeta en Nueva York," while living there in the 1920s. Around the same time, the lesser-known, ill-fated Mexican poet Gilberto Owen lived nearby — on the opposite side of Morningside Park from García Lorca, as depicted in "Faces in the Crowd," the first novel by Valeria Luiselli. Born in Mexico City, raised in South Africa and now a resident of New York, Luiselli writes in Spanish. In...

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