Live Stream: Juan Cárdenas and Lizzie Davis, Author and Translator of Ornamental

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THE LIVES OF A DOCTOR, HIS WIFE, AND HIS PATIENT COLLIDE, LAYING BARE THE POLITICAL AND PERSONAL NARRATIVES THEY HAVE CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED FOR THEMSELVES.

A doctor recruits volunteers for the trial of a new recreational drug that exclusively affects women. Among them is “number 4,” who becomes emotionally involved with first the scientist, then his wife, a well-known visual artist in the midst of a creative crisis. The scientist is oblivious to the atrocities his new drug will bring to the city; his wife is oblivious to the superfluousness of the objects she has committed her life to exhibiting in galleries and museums. Number 4’s presence pierces the couple’s complacency, gradually undoing the many certainties they’ve accumulated in their lives of ease.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Cárdenas (1978) is a Colombian art critic, curator, translator, and author of the novels Zumbido (451 Editores, 2010; Periférica, 2017), Los estratos (Periférica, 2013), Ornamento (Periférica, 2015), Tú y yo, una novelita rusa (Cajón de sastre, 2016) and El diablo de las provincias (Periférica, 2017). He is also the author of the short story collection Carreras delictivas (451 Editores, 2008). He has translated the works of such writers as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Gordon Lish, David Ohle, J. M. Machado de Assis, and Eça de Queirós. In 2014, his novel Los estratos received the Otras Voces Otros Ámbitos Prize. In May 2017, he was named one of the thirty-nine best Latin American writers under the age of thirty-nine by the Hay Festival in Bogotá. Cárdenas currently coordinates the masters program in creative writing at the Caro y Cuervo Institute in Bogotá, where he works as a professor and researcher.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Lizzie Davis is a translator from Spanish to English and editor at Coffee House Press. Her recent projects include works by Pilar Fraile Amador, Daniela Tarazona, and Elena Medel, and her co-translation of Medel's Las maravillas with Thomas Bunstead is forthcoming from Pushkin Press. She has received fellowships from the Omi International Arts Center and the Breadloaf Translators' Conference in support of her translations.

PRAISE FOR ORNAMENTAL

“In spare and economical prose, Cárdenas sketches a highly stratified world, where drugs link high society and neighborhoods that are 'a single crush of old houses and ruins'. . . . the overall effect offers both thrills and chills.” —Publishers Weekly


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Event date: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Virtual Event on Zoom
Ornamental Cover Image
By Juan Cárdenas, Lizzie Davis (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895804
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - June 2nd, 2020