Alberto Manguel is a writer, translator, editor and critic, but more importantly, he is reader and a lover of books.
Although Alberto Manguel was born in Buenos Aires in 1948, he spent his childhood in Israel and his adolescence in Argentina. While attending the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, he worked in a bookstore where he met the blind Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, who asked Manguel to read aloud to him from 1964 to 1968, a relationship that would prove to pivotal for Manguel. After living and working as an editor in Europe and the South Pacific, Manguel moved to Canada in 1982 and became a Canadian citizen. There he wrote for Canadian newspapers, radio and television, as well as for many international publications, including the New York Times and The Village Voice. He was appointed Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Calgary and for five years, he directed the Maclean Hunter Arts Journalism Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Alberto Manguel has edited anthologies of short stories and published several novels, including News From a Foreign Country Came, which won him the McKitterick First Novel Award (U.K.), Stevenson Under the Palm Trees and All Men Are Liars. He is best known for his works on book culture, such as A History of Reading, which won the 1998 Prix Médicis, The City of Words and The Library at Night. Together with Gianni Guadalupi, he wrote The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. He is the recipient of several international awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and honorary doctorates from the universities of Liège (Belgium) and Anglo Ruskin, Cambridge (UK).
Alberto Manguel feels that in our consumer societies, reading is a vital defense against “the enforced education of stupidity”. He believes in the illuminating and healing quality of literary texts to foster understanding of our world.