writers in residence
In Residence
Zurich, Switzerland
July — December 2019

Aura Xilonen



Aura Xilonen (1995) is a Mexican writer based in Puebla, Mexico. Her first novel “Campeón gabacho” (Random House 2015) won the renowned Mauricio Achar prize and was a literary sensation. Her picaresque novel about the classic topic of Mexican immigration to the USA is written in a highly original language sometimes branded as “ingleñol” (from inglés = English and español = Spanish) and has so far been translated into eight languages. Europa Editions published the novel in English as “The Gringo Champion” in 2017. /// As of June 3, 2019

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A Short Passage

The Gringo Champion

“And then it hits me, as the scruffs trail the gorgeous chickadee, hooting at her and talking dirty, that I can get myself another life by beating these pinches australs up. After all, I was born dead already, and nothing fucking scares me. […] And so I come up behind the guy and give him a sharp kick in the ankle, and he crumples over like a trivel running down a windowpane on a rainy day, and then I slam him in the cockles with all my might.”

— From “The Gringo Champion” (Europa Editions, New York 2017), translated from Mexican to English by Andrea Rosenberg

All readings of Aura Xilonen in the Literaturhaus Zurich were sold out. Photo Ralph Hut

Aura Xilonen has signed a photo of her that a reader had found on the internet. Photo Ralph Hut