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Manuel Vilas in conversation with Fátima Uribarri

Lights and Shadows of Memory

Segovia 2020, 

Manuel Vilas was a cult author from Aragón who became a literary sensation in 2018 with the publication of Ordesa, a cathartic autobiography crafted in novel format which sold over 100,000 copies in 14 print runs in a matter of a year. This work of self-fiction was named book of the year by newspapers such as La Vanguardia, El País, El Mundo or El Correo. He had previously published novels (España, Aire nuestro, Los inmortales, Lou Reed era español) short stories (Zeta, Magia, Setecientos millones de rinocerontes), poetry (Las arenas de Libia, Resurrección, Gran Vilas, El hundimiento) essays (La región intermedia), journals (Dos años felices, Listen to me) and travel books (América). His literary endeavours in the search for the self, the critique of culture and pop idols interweave with the limits of reality and fiction and have garnered awards such as the Femina Etranger, the Generación del 27, the Gil de Biedma or the Fray Luis de León. Vilas is also a regular contributor in media such as the Grupo Vocento dailies, Babelia, and Cadena Ser. In his latest novel, Alegría – finalist for the Premio Planeta –, he sets his exploration of the paths of memory within the history of his country and generation. He lives between Madrid and Iowa City. Vilas speaks with Fátima Uribarri, features writer of XL Semanal weekly magazine.

Photography of Manuel Vilas: © Arduino Vannucchi, courtesy of Grupo Planeta

Photography of Fátima Uribarri: courtesy of Grupo Planeta