David Mongor-Lizarrabengoa (Wor-Wic Community College)
As of April 2020, Chilean writer and journalist is the most-well known Latin American literary figure to become a victim of the COVID-19 virus. A member of Chile’s Communist party, Sepulveda found himself in the crosshairs of the Pinochet regime and was arrested on more than one occasion. Following his release, he went into exile and worked for various organizations like UNESCO and Greenpeace. In terms of literary production, Sepulveda wrote novels, short stories, children’s books, and even directed several movies. His books have sold millions of copies worldwide, been translated into more than 50 languages, and won him several literary awards. His novel Un viejo que leía novelas de amor gained him fame and comparisons to Gabriel García Márquez. According his obituary by the BBC, readers have taken to social media to discuss how Sepulveda’s works have influenced them. The aim of this roundtable is to foster an analysis of Luis Sepulveda’s works, his influence on other writers, and pay homage to this sometimes-overshadowed writer.