Meredith College to Host Annual El Quixote Festival Literary Marathon

Meredith College’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures will host its second annual El Quixote Festival Literary Marathon, in collaboration with six local universities and nonprofits, on Thursday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Cate Center.

The 2017 Literary Marathon or Lectura Maratonica will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien Años de Soledad), which is the master work of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Marquéz. It is frequently cited as one of the top 10 books ever written.

“This event offers the opportunity for the community to enter the world of literary master Gabriel García Marquéz and hopefully, will invite some readers to read the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude all over again or for the first time,” said Astrid Billat, associate professor of Spanish.

During the three-hour period, students, faculty, staff, and community members will gather together for the reading in either English or Spanish. Each reader will read between two and 10 minutes with anywhere from five to 20 participants. Participants are welcome to read in any language, but they must provide a copy of the book in that language translation.

Meredith has partnered with Artist Studio Project Founder and Artistic Director Rafael Osuba to be a part of the week-long marathon. Along with the College, El Centro Hispano of Durham (Monday, April 17), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Tuesday, April 18), Elon University (Tuesday, April 18), the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (Wednesday, April 19), Castila – Centro International de Estudios Hispánicos (Thursday, April 20), and Duke University (Friday, April 21) will be hosting the event.

The Literary Marathon is the closing event for the second annual El Quixote Festival, a collaborative project created by Osuba. It is a seven-month long festival that starts on September 19 and runs through April 23. The festival was created to celebrate the 400-year anniversary of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. It places special emphasis on artistic creations in the Spanish language from genres such as visual arts, literature, opera, music, dance, theater, film, and gastronomy.

Last year, more than 500 people across eight colleges and universities participated in the literary marathon commemorating the 400 years of both the death of Cervantes and the publication of the second book. The books were read in 18 different languages.

To sign up to participate in the reading, please visit or email Associate Professor of Spanish Astrid Billat at

Melyssa Allen

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