"If the trials and tribulations of Latin America's Jewry might be found in a nutshell, it is in The Centaur and the Garden," writes Ilan Stavans of Moacyr Scliar's most famous novel. The two writers discuss those "trials and tribulations," as well as the surprising joys awaiting readers of Latin American Jewish literature. Born in Porto Alegre, Scliar is one of Brazil's most distinguished writers. His other books include The Carnival of Animals, Max and the Cats, and Collected Stories. Ilan Stavans was born in Mexico City to Eastern European Jewish parents. He has spent much of his career exploring the connections between Jewish and Hispanic cultures - from Columbus to comic strips to the works of Borges and Kafka. His books include On Borrowed Words: A Memoir of Language, Tropical Synagogues, and Spanglish: The Making of a New American Memoir.
Recorded Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at Chicago Public Library.