Community Conversation With 'In the Distance' Author Hernán Diaz, Thursday, March 7

Photo of Hernán Diaz and 'In the Distance' book cover

PASADENA, Calif.—To celebrate the 17th year of Pasadena’s One City, One Story community reading project, the public is invited to a conversation with Hernán Diaz, author of this year’s selected novel, In the Distance, Thursday, March 7, at 7 p.m. in the All Saints Church Sanctuary, 132 N. Euclid Ave.

Diaz will discuss his experiences writing In the Distance. A question and answer session led by Pasadena Public Library Director Michelle Perera will immediately follow. Attendees are encouraged to bring their copies of In the Distance for the author to sign following the discussion. Diaz’s books will be available for sale and signing following the program. The event is free and open to the public. Fee-based event parking is available in surrounding parking facilities. Free parking is available at Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St.

In the Distance is a Western about a trek through America’s frontier in the 1800s. Penniless and alone in California, a young Swedish boy, Håkan, travels east on foot in search of his brother. Driven back over and over again on his journey through vast expanses, Håkan meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, Indians and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Diaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre, offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.

Born in Argentina, Diaz boarded a freighter to Sweden with his family when he was two years old, escaping the military junta that had just seized power. After several years in Stockholm, his family returned to Buenos Aires, where Diaz attended college before winning a British Council grant to pursue his master’s degree in London. Now a 20-year resident of New York City, he holds a PhD from New York University, has been an assistant professor at the State University of NY and is currently the Associate Director of the Hispanic Institute for Latin American and Iberian Cultures and Managing Editor of the RHM (Revista Hispánica Moderna) academic journal for Columbia University.

Diaz is also the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity (Bloomsbury, 2012), and his work has been or will be published by Cabinet, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, Playboy, Granta and others. His first novel, In the Distance, was a Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of 2017 and the winner of William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award. It also was among the Feminist Press Staff Picks: Best Books of 2017, Brazos Bookstore’s Best-Selling Fiction of 2017, and East Bay Booksellers Favorites of 2017. Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, it was also a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Pasadena Public Library’s annual One City, One Story program is designed to broaden and deepen an appreciation of reading in Pasadena by engaging the community in dialogue around a single literary work. For more information on this year’s One City, One Story activities, visit or call (626) 744-7076.

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