Born in Mexico City, raised in South Africa and now living in New York City, Valeria Luiselli has been hailed by London’s Daily Telegraph as “an extraordinary new literary talent.” Her work, which has been widely translated, has been featured in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, and McSweeney’s, and her debut novel, Faces in the Crowd (Coffee House Press, 2014) was the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and an Indie Next Pick.
Her newest book, The Story of My Teeth follows bon vivant, world traveler and auctioneer Highway as he has what few teeth in his head replaced with those of Marilyn Monroe, and proceeds to auction his off to unsuspecting parishoners of his friend’s church, weaving intricate and blatantly untrue tales about each one. He sells an incisor “belonging” to Jorge Borges for 2,500 pesos, and a melancholy tooth from Virginia Woolf to 8,900 pesos. At the end of the auction, he offers up his whole set of implanted Marilyn teeth, with the condition that the buyer take him along as well. The winning bidder is none other than his estranged son, Siddhartha, and this is where the real story begins.
Johnny Cash meets Robert Weiser, Highway’s journey through the streets of Mexico is one not to be missed.
If you think that this sounds like the kind of novel you’ve been waiting ages to read, you’re not alone: The Story of My Teeth has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and featured in many Fall 2015 previews , including the CBC Fall 2015 Book Preview, Literary Hub’s Great Booksellers Fall Preview, The Millions Most Anticipated, The Guardian’s list of Fall 2015’s Best Latin American Books, Flavorwire’s 33 Must-Read Books for Fall 2015, the Huffington Post’s Fall 2015 Fall Preview, and Bustle’s Best Books to Read this fall. It also received a (rare) rave review from the New York Times, and a feature on NPR’s book segment, where they said “quirky doesn’t begin to capture [its] wacky inventiveness.” Still not convinced? The Story of My Teeth is available everywhere now– read it for yourself.
Luiselli is not only a great writer, but a great speaker and intellectual. Check out this conversation she had with her proud publisher, Coffee House Press. I promise you’ll either be inspired, fall in love, or both. Luisa will appear on Writers and Company this Sunday, September 27th, so make sure you have some copies available for curious readers who’ll no doubt want to scoop it up.
The Story of My Teeth
Coffee House Press