112th: Bécquer Seguín with Nicholas Dames and Seth Kimmel

Event date: 
02/20/2024 - 7:00pm

Join Book Culture and Public Books on Tuesday, February 20th at 7pm for a reading and conversation to celebrate the release of Bécquer Seguín's new book, The Op-Ed Novel. He will be joined by Nicholas Dames, author most recently of The Chapter, and Seth Kimmel, author of the forthcoming The Librarian’s Atlas.

In order to facilitate this in-person author event, we will be partially closing the second floor starting at 6:45pm. Please review our Safety guidelines and register for the event using the link below. 


or register using the following link: https://forms.gle/6AvHmf2Axit5Vofa6

A new history of contemporary Spanish fiction through the prism of novelists’ newspaper columns.

Public intellectuals come in many different stripes, but most of them gain a following at least in part from their writing, whether in the form of magazine articles, newspaper columns, or full-length nonfiction. A few—James Baldwin and Joan Didion are celebrated examples—start out as novelists before turning to the rough-and-tumble of current affairs. In The Op-Ed Novel, Bécquer Seguín undertakes the first book-length study of how contemporary literature is shaped by opinion journalism, focusing on fiction writers who took to the papers in post-Franco Spain and became stewards of their country’s cultural, economic, and political future.

Following Spain’s transition to democracy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, internationally acclaimed novelists such as Javier Cercas, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Javier Marías seized the opportunity to populate the opinion pages of the newly legal free press. The Op-Ed Novel analyzes how the argumentative styles and preoccupations of their columns in El País, Spain’s most widely read daily, bled into their fiction. These and other authors used their novels to settle scores with fellow intellectuals, make speculative historical claims, and advance partisan political projects. At the same time, their literary technique greatly invigorated opinion journalism.

A lively guide to the terroir of contemporary Spanish literature, The Op-Ed Novel offers a bird’s-eye view of both the post-Franco intellectual climate and the changing role of the novelist in public life.

Bécquer Seguín is Assistant Professor of Iberian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches the literary, cultural, and political history of modern Spain. He is a regular contributor to The Nation, where he has been reporting on Spain since 2015, and has written for Slate, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Public Books, where he co-edits the literature in translation and sports sections. 

Nicholas Dames is Theodore Kahan Professor at Columbia University, where he teaches the history and theory of the novel. He is the author most recently of The Chapter: A Segmented History from Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century (Princeton UP, 2023). He is also co-Editor in Chief of the online magazine Public Books

Seth Kimmel is Associate Professor in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University, where he teaches the literature and culture of early modern Spain. He is the author of Parables of Coercion: Conversion and Knowledge at the End of Islamic Spain (U. of Chicago Press, 2015) and The Librarian's Atlas: The Shape of Knowledge in Early Modern Spain (U. of Chicago Press, forthcoming in May 2024).

Event address: 
Book Culture
536 W 112th St
New York, NY 10025
The Op-Ed Novel: A Literary History of Post-Franco Spain By Bécquer Seguín Cover Image
ISBN: 9780674260108
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Harvard University Press - January 9th, 2024

The Chapter: A Segmented History from Antiquity to the Twenty-First Century By Nicholas Dames Cover Image
ISBN: 9780691135199
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Princeton University Press - November 7th, 2023

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The Librarian's Atlas: The Shape of Knowledge in Early Modern Spain By Seth Kimmel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780226833170
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - May 6th, 2024