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Le temps des cendres (Seuil, 2008)

Jorge Volpi is one of the most important Latin American writers. He was born in Mexico city in 1968. He studied literature and law before he became a lawyer then a writer.

In 1999 he got the prestigious Biblioteca Breve award for his first novel - A la recherche de Klingsor (on its French translation). In the 1990s he created the "Crack" literary movement which gathers the young generation of writers such as Ignacio Padilla and Eloy Urroz. This generation is resolved to break with the magical realism of the old generation of writers like Garcia Marquez and Carlos Fuentes.

In 1996 they published the Manifiesto del Crack followed by the Crack in 2006. Instrucciones de uso, from Debolsillo : (Loosely translated from the French) "Latin American literature is a myth invented to keep readers and writers of this area separate from the rest of the world. The Crack admires, extends and criticizes the literary tradition written in Spanish, but is fiercely against any foreign diktat. It is necessary not to write Latin American literature to be a real Latin American." The authors believe "In writing good literature, writing synthesizing and deep language-reforming works, and writing books by taking risks without concessions."

And it is really the case in Terre et cendres (for the French translation), an out-and-out book which takes the reader from East to West, from old communist Russia to the triumph of capitalism. It is a great book in which the technique of the story within a story is well used, in which the characters live with the Great Men of History and travel from the 1950s to today, and in which the stories are mingled without ever being lost. A great book.


In English

  • In Search of Klingsor (1999)

In French

  • Le temps des cendres (Seuil, 2008)
  • Le fin de la Folie (Seuil, 2003)
  • Jours de Colère (Milles et une nuits, 2001)
  • A la recherche de Klingsor (Plon, 2001)


Le temps des cendres

Seuil - 2008


Les cafés littéraires en vidéo
Avec Tom BISSELL, Jorge VOLPI - Saint-Malo 2008

On l’appelle le réalisme magique

Saint-Malo 2008
17h45 : On l’appelle le réalisme magique

Coups de gueule et manifestes

Saint-Malo 2008

Le nom du monde est Magie

Saint-Malo 2008
Le nom du monde est Magie