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Sergio Pitol Demeneghi is one of Mexico's most acclaimed writers, born in the city of Puebla in 1933. He studied law and philosophy in Mexico City. He is renowned for his intellectual career in both the field of literary creation and translation, and is renowned for his work in the promotion of Mexican culture abroad, which he achieved during his long service as a cultural attache in Mexican embassies and consulates across the globe. He has lived perpetually on the run: he was a student in Rome, a translator in Beijing and Barcelona, a university professor in Xalapa and Bristol, and a diplomat in Warsaw, Budapest, Paris, Moscow and Prague. Pitol is a contemporary of the most famous authors of the Latin American "Boom," and began publishing novels, stories, criticism, and translations in the 1960s. In recognition of the importance of his entire canon of work, Pitol was awarded the two most important prizes in the Spanish language world: the Juan Rulfo Prize in 1999 (now known as the FIL Literary Award in Romance Languages), and in 2005 he won the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in the Spanish language world, often called the "Spanish language Nobel." Deep Vellum will publish Pitol's Trilogy of Memory in full in 2014-2015 (The Art of Flight; The Journey; The Magician of Vienna), marking the first appearance of any of Pitol's books in English. George Henson is currently completing a PhD in Humanities (with an emphasis on literary and translation studies) at the University of Texas at Dallas. He received his BA from University of Oklahoma, and his MA from Middlebury College. From 2003 to 2010, Mr. Henson taught Spanish language, literature, and translation at Southern Methodist University. He has also taught Spanish language and literature courses at the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of North Texas. Prior to teaching at SMU, Mr. Henson taught for six years at Collin College in Plano. Henson's primary scholarly interests lie in literary translation and translation theory. His translations of short stories by Mexican author Elena Poniatowska have appeared in Nimrod, Translation Review, The Literary Review, and Puerto del Sol. His translation of Carlos Pintado's short story "Joy Eslava" was published by Zafra Lit, and his translations of poems by Francisco Moran have appeared in Sojourn and are forthcoming in The Havana Reader (Duke University Press). Mr. Henson's translation of Elena Poniatowska's short story collection Tlapaleria will be published in 2011 by Alligator Press. His current projects include translating short story collections by Mexican writer Luis Jorge Boone and Spanish writer Andres Neuman. Henson has been invited to read papers on topics related to literary translation and queer literature at conferences hosted by the American Comparative Literature Association, New York University, and Emory University.
* Brazos Bookstore Staff Pick: "Told in intelligent and warm prose, Pitol once again shows the reader the profound importance of literature and travel in living a meaningful life. Bursting with wisdom and memories, THE JOURNEY is another unforgettable trip with a masterful guide." * "Witty, engaging, and regularly dizzying with its shifts between the real and the absurd, The Journey lives up to Pitol's reputation as one of Mexico's most intriguing writers." -- World Literature Today * "Pitol is a tactful writer who masterfully handles hundreds of different subjects in a compact, novel-like form... One of his great strengths is to turn from comic sentences to those of poetic resonance with a seamless and subtle finesse...this and the preceding volume--Art of Flight--are some of the best to be published by a small press in the last few years." -- Matt Pincus, Bookslut * "Sergio Pitol is not only our best active storyteller, he is also the bravest renovator of our literature."-- Alvaro Enrigue, author of Sudden Death * "Pitol is probably one of Mexico's most culturally complex and composite writers. He is certainly the strangest, most unfathomable, and eccentric... [His] voice ... reverberates beyond the margins of his books."-- Valeria Luiselli, author of The Story of My Teeth * "Pitol is unfathomable; it could almost be said that he is a literature entire of himself." --Daniel Saldana Paris, author of Among Strange Victims * "Reading Sergio Pitol will make any serious writer want to write--and write better... In Pitol's life and his writing, neither images nor thoughts flow naturally and automatically to their logical associations. The paradox is that these two books demonstrates this incongruity and the uncertainty it creates with absolute precision." -- West Camel, 3:AM Magazine * "Simultaneously bewildering and fascinating... To close The Journey, indeed, is to feel as if a dream has ended and the reader is finally returning to the real world with its harsh surfaces and clear light." -- Jeffrey Zuckerman, The Quarterly Conversation * "In order to enjoy The Journey, the second volume of revered Mexican author Sergio Pitol's idiosyncratic autobiographical trilogy, the reader must abandon expectations: of genre, of structure, of distinctions between the aesthetic "truth" of dreams and fiction, and truth in the sense of literal accuracy. Those who take this leap will find Pitol a warm companion and an erudite guide through both his own artistic process and a compelling moment in history that has much to say to our own." -- Anne Posten, Words Without Borders * "Witty, engaging, and regularly dizzying with its shifts between the real and the absurd, The Journey lives up to Pitol's reputation as one of Mexico's most intriguing writers." -- World Literature Today * "One of Pitol's great strengths is to turn from comic sentences to those of poetic resonance with a seamless and subtle finesse... one is empathetically drawn into the emotional malaise of conflict presented as personal confession... this and the preceding volume -- The Art of Flight -- are some of the best to be published by a small press in the last few years." -- Matt Pincus, Bookslut * "Pitol's incredible journey through Soviet Prague & Russia. A gorgeous, insight into literature, history, and a life lived through words. Sergio Pitol is one of Mexico's greatest authors." -- Mark Haber, bookseller, Brazos Bookstore (Houston, Texas)