Imagine the world

Who are the new storytellers?

In 2007, Bogotá was the scene of an extraordinary event: a meeting of 39 young writers from 17 Latin American countries, presented in 60 events across 32 venues. All of them had had one or more works published and read in their own countries. Many were unknown outside them. The Department of Culture, Leisure and Sport of the District of Bogotá, as part of its programme supporting Bogotá World Book Capital 2007, welcomed this initiative produced by Hay Festival, which was named Bogotá39, and formed the point of departure for a warmly received continental interchange.

The selection process was the responsibilty of a jury made up of three Colombian writers: Piedad Bonnett, Héctor Abad Faciolince and Óscar Collazos. From nominations sent in by more than a thousand editors, critics and readers from all over the continent, the jury chose 39 writers who, in their opinion, had the talent and potential to define the the themes that would represent the future of Latin American literature.

  • hay festival bogota39

The opportunity to glimpse what is happening in Latin American literature; the charm of approaching the wealth of languages and attitudes of 39 writers united by continent and generation yet unique in origin and experience; the potential for answers to as many questions as we can ask about what it means to be Latin American and whether this is still a definition of any relevance; and the experience of attracting an audience of over 8,000 in Bogotá. This was the essence of Bogotá39. It was an event that took place as part of the promotions for Bogotá World Book Capital 2007, and it formed a measure of everything this initiative was designed to communicate: that the celebration of books needs to be as open, rich and varied as the process of writing and reading them.

  • Juan Gabriel Vasquez

    Juan Gabriel Vásquez wins the IMPAC Dublin award

    The Colombian novelist (and one of the Bogotá 39) is the first Latin American writer to receive the prize in its 19-year history. His novel The Sound of Things Falling also won the Alfaguara Prize in 2011. It was selected for the Impac award from among 142 books nominated by 150 libraries from 39 countries.

  • Bogota39 programme


    The Bogotá39 authors took part in a huge number of events across Bogotá on 23–26 August 2007. All events were free to the public.

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Bogotá39 authors

  • Claudia Amengual
  • Junot Díaz
  • Álvaro Bisama
  • Antonio García
  • Eduardo Halfón
  • Wendy Guerra
  • Adriana Lisboa
  • Pedro Mairal
  • Santiago Roncagliolo
  • Jorge Volpi
  • and 29 others...