Upon invitation of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Mexican writer and filmmaker Aura Xilonen (1995) will stay in Amsterdam from March 22th until April 28th as writer-in-residence. At the same time the Dutch translation of her debut novel Campeón gabacho (The Gringo Champion) will be published by Wereldbibliotheek. On 25 March she will perform at the Passa Porta Festival in Brussels, Belgium. During her residency she will work on her second novel.
Aura Xilonen studied at the public university of Puebla to be a filmmaker. Aged 19, she published her debut novel Campeón gabacho, which was highly praised and received the Mauricio Achar Prize. Her book has already been translated into English and French, the Italian translation is on its way.
The Gringo Champion (translated by Andrea Rosenberg, Europa Editions) tells the story of Liborio who has to leave Mexico; a land that has taught him little more than a keen instinct for survival. He crosses the Rio Bravo, like so many others, to reach “the promised land.” In his new home, he finds a job at a bookstore. He falls in love with a woman so intensely that his fantasies of her verge on obsession. And, finally, he finds himself on a path that just might save him: he becomes a boxer.
Xilonen took her inspiration for this migrant story from movies and from stories that people have told her. When asked on the occasion of the Mauricio Achar Prize, she mentioned the many conversations as a child with her grandfather, who worked as a reporter and dramatist, as an important inspiration for her style.
- Residency for Writers in Amsterdam
- Passa Porta Festival
- Europa Editions
- Blog Aura Xilonen on The Chronicles