Novelist Francisco Goldman's research into New Bedford and its large Guatemalan community


Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 5:30pm


CGIS South, S216, 1730 Cambridge Street

New BedfordSpeaker: Francisco Goldman, Author, 2018–2019 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, Trinity College

Moderator: Kirsten Weld, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences

Francisco Goldman converses about his research, for a novel, into New Bedford, and particularly its large Guatemalan community. Various subjects will be discussed, such as the seafood industry -- the city is the country's largest commercial fishing port -- and the role of Guatemalans and other Central Americans in that industry; the 2007 Bianco plant ICE raid; New Bedford immigration history generally. What differentiates research for a novel from journalistic or academic research is another subject is another subject to talk about.

Francisco Goldman is the author of four published novels and two nonfiction books and has completed a new novel, “Monkey Boy,” forthcoming in 2019. His previous novel, Say Her Name (Grove Press, 2011), won the prestigious Prix Femina étranger in 2011. His recent memoir, The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle (Grove Press, 2014), was awarded the 2017 Premio Metropolis Azul. His other books have won a variety of prizes and been translated into many languages.

From covering the Central American wars for Harper’s Magazine in the 1980s to his more recent regular online pieces for the New Yorker about Mexico’s ongoing crisis, immigration, and Guatemala, Goldman engages some of the same issues, ideas, and places in his journalism and other nonfiction as he does in his fiction and autobiographical writings. The novel on which he’s working at the Radcliffe Institute is set in New Bedford, Massachusetts, which has a large community of immigrants from Guatemala, his mother’s native country.

Goldman has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library, and a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the recipient of a Premio PEN México 2018 for literary excellence. Goldman directs the Premio Aura Estrada and teaches one semester every year at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he is the Allan K. Smith Professor of Creative Writing and Literature. The rest of the year he lives in Mexico City.

Presented in collaboration with Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.