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In order to celebrate the English language publication of her novel Los cristales de la sal/Salt Crystals (winner of the Elisa Mújica National Novel Prize), Charco Press, the School of European Languages, Culture and Society at UCL together with the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) and the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW), are delighted to host an in-conversation activity with Colombian writer Cristina Bendek

The event will be chaired by Dr Niall Geraghty (Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies, UCL).



Cristina Bendek is a Caribbean author. She was born on the island of San Andrés (Colombia) in October 1987. In 2018 her first novel, Los cristales de la sal/Salt Crystals, won the Elisa Mújica National Novel Prize (Colombia). The novel has been translated into Portuguese (Moinhos, 2021), and Danish Dutch (Aurora Boreal, 2020), and now appears in English translation for the first time with Charco Press, which will also launch the novel in Spanish for the North American readership. Some of her work has also been translated into German. Cristina is also a journalist but spends her time researching Caribbean literature and writing fiction. She lives in Berlin.

Los cristales de la sal/Salt Crystals

San Andrés rises gently from the Caribbean, part of Colombia but closer to Nicaragua, the largest island in an archipelago claimed by the Spanish, colonized by the Puritans, worked by slaves, and home to Arab traders, migrants from the mainland, and the descendants of everyone who came before. For Victoria – whose origins on the island go back generations, but whose identity is contested by her accent, her skin color, her years far away – the sun-burned tourists and sewage blooms, sudden storms, and 'thinking rundowns' where liberation is plotted and dinner served from a giant communal pot, bring her into vivid, intimate contact with the island she thought she knew, her own history, and the possibility for a real future for herself and San Andrés. 

This event can be attended in person or online.

All welcome but registration in advance is required. Please click on the Book Now button at the top of the page to register.