Voices for the Voiceless: Elena Poniatowska and Michael SchmidtFriday 17 April 2015, 6 p.m. · 40 minutes
Elena Poniatowska’s work, in both fiction and journalism, has always been devoted to giving a voice to the voiceless, the disenfranchised and the oppressed. Her most famous book La noche de Tlatelolco (1971) dealt with the massacre of up to 300 protesters in Mexico City in 1968. Others of her books have been recreations of the lives of ordinary Mexicans, such as the victims of the 1985 earthquake, and of well-known artists and radicals such as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti. Her most recent novel Leonora, recently translated for Serpent’s Tail by Amanda Hopkinson, is based on the life of the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington who sought and found refuge in Mexico, the country where she created most of her finest work and where she died in 2011. Poniatowska will be appearing at the shop to talk about her career with the poet and publisher Michael Schmidt.