Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas present “Two Gringos with Questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. In the 25 episode, Ken and Victoria speak to Marie Arana, Peruvian-American author and the senior advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress.
Hosts Ken and Victoria speak to Arana about her new book Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin America Story, where she narrates the history of Latin America and the region’s relationship with Western cultures.
Marie Arana is a Peruvian-American author of both fiction and nonfiction, an editor, journalist and senior advisor to the U.S. Librarian of Congress. Arana is the director of the National Book Festival, the John W. Kluge Center’s Chair of the Cultures of the Countries of the South, and a Writer at Large for the Washington Post.
Arana began her career at The Washington Post in 1993, as Deputy Editor of the book review section, Book World. She was later promoted to editor-in-chief and held that title for over a decade. Arana has also written for The New York Times, National Geographic, The International Herald Tribune, El País, and El Comercio, among other publications.
Her previous book Bolívar: An American Liberator, a biography of Simon Bolívar, was awarded the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for best biography. Other works include Lima Nights, a novel published in January 2009, and Cellophane, a satirical novel set in the Peruvian Amazon, published in 2006 and a finalist for the John Sargent First Novel Prize. In 2001, she released a memoir about her bicultural childhood, American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood, which was a finalist for the 2001 National Book Award, as well as the PEN/Memoir Award.
Arana began her career in book publishing, becoming Vice President and Senior Editor at both Harcourt Brace and Simon & Schuster publishers in New York. She holds a BA in Russian Language and Literature from Northwestern University and an MA in Linguistics and Sociolinguistics from Hong Kong University.