Valeria Luiselli: Biography

Valeria Luiselli

16 aug 1983

Valeria Luiselli is an award winning Mexican author whose fiction and non-fiction work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, McSweeney’s and The New Yorker. Her works include a book of essays (Sidewalks, 2013), two novels, and other short stories. Her novel, Faces in the Crowd (2012) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction. All of her work has been translated into numerous languages. In 2014, Luiselli won the National Book Foundation ‘5 Under 35’ award.

Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Luiselli’s family moved often and she grew up in the United States, Costa Rica, South Korea, and South Africa and then worked and studied in Spain and France. At age twenty one, she returned to Mexico and attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico where she received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. She then moved to New York City to study comparative literature at Columbia University. She has also lived in India.

Valeria Luiselli’s first novel, Faces in the Crowd, is a fresh and transcendent story of a Mexican writer whose life begins to mirror that of little-known Mexican poet, Gilberto Owen. Her second novel, The Story of My Teeth, is about a man who auctions off his old teeth, claiming that they belong to various celebrities. The second part of the novel consists of old photos and quotations. The third part is a chronology by her translator, and the fourth and final part of the novel is an afterword in which Luiselli explains how workers in a Mexican juice corporation collaborated with her.

Currently a teacher of literature and creative writing, Valeria Luiselli collaborates with a number of art galleries and has worked as a librettist for the New York City Ballet. She lives in New York City.