The Hay 30 – Laia JUFRESA

Laia Jufresa grew up in the cloud forest of Veracruz and spent her adolescence in Paris. In 2001, she moved to Mexico City and discovered she didn’t know how to cross a street. She’s been writing fiction ever since. She is the author of the short stories collection El esquinista  (FETA, 2014) and the novel Umami (Literatura Random House, 2015). Umami has been published in seven languages, won the PEN Translates Award, was chosen as the best first novel in Spanish at the 2016 First Novel Festival in Chambéry, France, and is a finalist for The Best Translated Book Award 2017 (USA). Laia was named on the 2015 Mexico20 list of outstanding Mexican writers under 40, and the 2017 Bogota39 of young Latin American writers.

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The Hay 30 is made possible by the generous support of the CASE foundation.

All Events for this artist

Hay Festival 2015

Brenda Lozano, Daniel Saldaña París, Laia Jufresa with Gaby Wood


Hay Festival 2015, 

2015 is the Year of Mexico in the UK and the Year of the UK in Mexico. To celebrate we’re working with the British Council and Conaculta to present México20, a project that promotes 20 new voices of Mexican writers under the age of 40 and brings their work to an international readership. Come and join three of the emerging superstars of the anthology for an evening of Mexican stories, music and drink. With music from the stunning mariachi band Las Adelitas.

Hay Festival 2018

Claudia Ulloa, Emiliano Monge, Laia Jufresa

Fictions: Bogota 39

Hay Festival 2018, 

The second of two sessions introducing the most exciting voices of Latin American fiction, award-winning stars of the 2018 selection for Bogota 39, and launching the English-language edition of a globally published anthology. Ulloa is a short story writer from Peru, whose collection Little Birds beautifully combines cruelty and tenderness. Monge’s The Arid Sky has seen him hailed as a Mexican Cormac McCarthy. Jufresa’s masterpiece Umami is a darkly comic portrayal of contemporary life in Mexico City. They talk to Daniel Hahn.

Cartagena 2018

Gabriela Jauregui, Laia Jufresa, Alan Mills and Jesús Miguel Soto in conversation with Winston Manrique

Bogotá39-2017. Writers we like II

Cartagena 2018, 

Four of Latin America’s best writers aged under 40 choose one or two writers from any Latin American country, plus an international author, whose work they admire. At this event Gabriela Jauregui (Mexico), Laia Jufresa (Mexico), Alan Mills (Guatemala) and Jesús Miguel Soto (México) talk to the journalist Winston Manrique about their recommendations.

Hay Festival 2017

Laia Jufresa and Cynan Jones talk to Daniel Hahn

Fictions: Survivors

Hay Festival 2017, 

With its taut narrative and its wincingly visceral portrait of a man locked in an uneven struggle with the forces of nature, Jones’s Cove is a powerful new work from one of the most distinctive voices in British fiction. Jufresa’s Umami is a quietly devastating novel of missed encounters, missed opportunities, missed people, and those who are left behind. Compassionate, surprising, funny and inventive, it deftly unpicks their stories to offer a darkly comic portrait of contemporary Mexico, as whimsical as it is heart-wrenching.