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Manuel Vilas

Author Photo of Manuel Vilas
Books by this author: Heaven
  • About
  • Reviews
  • Manuel Vilas is a Spanish writer, the author of several books, including fourteen collections of poetry, seven books of essays, and seven novels. His most recent novel, Alegría, was the 2019 Premio Planeta Finalista, and its predecessor, Ordesa, was a bestseller in Spain, won the French Prix Femina Étranger in 2019, and is forthcoming in a number of languages, including French, German and English. Vilas currently divides his time between Spain and the United States, where he teaches at the University of Iowa.

    Author photo credit: Lisbeth Salas
    Praise for Manuel Vilas
    'For those up for high octane, X-rated journeys around the western Mediterranean, without leaving the house, those wanting sun, sea, sex, souvenirs and junk food from the comfort of their armchair, Manuel Vilas is your man.'

    Paul Stephenson, The North 66

    'The poems of Spanish writer Manuel Vilas invite you into his hotel room. You sit on the edge of his bed while he tells you about his drinking, his despondency, his sexual escapades. He tells you what he's been pondering lately: tourism, Catholicism, Nietzsche, money, Spain, favorite song lyrics, his car, his dog, his brand-new switchblade. He is by turns tongue-in-cheek, hyperbolic, comical, rueful, outrageous, ironic, melancholic, and soul-baring. And you realize something: you want to hear it all.
    Thanks to British poet and translator James Womack, you can. With an ear finely tuned to colloquial speech and a knack for deadpan delivery, Womack gives Vilas' poems a thoroughly convincing new life in English.[...] The irresistible energy in so many of his poems carries the reader along, as does his willingness to hold a mirror to himself, or to a third-person persona called Manuel Vilas.'

    Jennifer Barber, Critical Flame

    'wild, exuberant lines that strain against convention'
    David Starkey, Santa Barbara Independent
    'Vilas is an accomplished, freewheeling storyteller, forever leading his readers into unexpected byways...James Womack's translations of these beguiling narrative poems, selected from two of Vilas' collections published in 2000 and 2008, are so vivid, natural-seeming and alert to every nuance and shade of feeling that they scarcely register as translations at all.'
    Paul Bailey, Literary Review
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