Basque Author Bernardo Atxaga to teach at Stanford

Internationally acclaimed Basque author Bernardo Atxaga will be teaching two classes at Stanford University focusing on Basque language, politics and culture.

Bernardo Atxaga. Photo: Courtesy of Astero
Bernardo Atxaga. Photo: Courtesy of Astero

Atxaga is considered a giant of Basque literature. His books, novels and poems have helped define the Basque experience. He is the first Basque writer awarded the prestigious Spanish National Prize in Narrative for his novel, “Obabakoak,” which has been translated into 25 languages.

At Stanford, Atxaga will be a visiting professor in the Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures. His two classes start with the beginning of the spring quarter on March 29.

One class is titled “Cultural and Political Change in the Basque Country.” The course will explore the works of sculptors, musicians and other intellectuals whose works sparked a cultural rebirth in the Basque Country, according to the class description on the university website.

Two Basque Stories was recently published by the Center for Basque Studies.
Two Basque Stories was recently published by the Center for Basque Studies.

Atxaga’s second class is called ‘The Hedgehog’s Awakening: Basque Culture’s Return.” It will focus on the rebirth of Euskera, the Basque language, as well as explore the various cultural and social factors that helped the language survive.

Atxaga’s novel “Two Basque Stories” was recently published in English as a paperback by the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada Reno. The novel was translated by Nere Lete, a professor at Boise State University.

Atxaga is the pen name used the by the writer. His real name is Joseba Irazu Garmendia.

For more information about Atxaga, see:

Bernardo Atxaga, Astero, May 10, 2006.
Translating Bernardo Atxaga, Euskal Kazeta

Read a New York Times book review of Atxaga’s book, “The Accordionist’s Son.