Ordesa and Manuel Vilas.

Manuel Vilas discusses Ordesa

Ordesa is not a beach read. It’s the often tragic tale of a man who’s stuck: 52, divorced, in a town he doesn’t quite care for. There are short bits of digression—he’ll go to the store, or see his sons—but major activity of the book happens in flashback because the protagonist spends his days reflecting on his parents, his home, and his past. Everything in his life turns up memories, even his own reflection. The author, Manuel Vilas, writes both poetry and prose in Spanish; the dreamlike quality of this work seems to blend them both. The book’s English release is thanks to the work of translator Andrea Rosenberg, whose work has been singled out by many reviewers; the New York Times calls it “sparkling.” To celebrate the fact that U.S. readers can now get their hands on Ordesa, which was a bestseller in Spain, the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain is hosting its third “Spain Writes, America Reads” event, where Vilas will introduce his work to a new audience. The talk begins at 3 p.m. on Dec. 10. Registration is available at spainculture.us. Free.