Alberto Manguel

(Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1948)
(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Casa de América

Writer and translator, explorer of the oral and written word, and connoisseur of the fantastic places of world literature.

Alberto Manguel was born in Buenos Aires in 1958 and has been a Canadian citizen since 1988. Writer and translator, explorer of the oral and written word, he has a great facility for combining erudition and playfulness. At the age of 16, he was asked by Jorge Luis Borges to read aloud to him at his home for four years. An all-round creator, passionate traveller and curious reader, Manguel has been a journalist, writer, editor and literary critic for major newspapers and magazines around the world (The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times, The Village Voice and Svenska Dagbladet), and has directed many seminars on literature at universities in Europe, Canada and the United States. He has also recorded radio and television programmes about art and literature, and written a play, The Kipling Play, which was premiered in Canada in 1985.

He compiled The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (2004), a comprehensive and celebratory catalogue of fantasy settings from world literature in collaboration with Gianni Guadalupi, edited the anthology Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (1983) and wrote the novel News from a Foreign Country Came (1992), winner of the McKitterick Prize.

Alberto Manguel was director for five years of the Maclean Hunter Arts Journalism Program of the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. He has been honoured with several international prizes and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and honorary doctorates from the universities of Liège, in Belgium and Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge (England). He is also Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France).
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