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Reading

The Aura Estrada Prize

Backed by a cadre of writers, Francisco Goldman honors his late wife with a literary prize.

Book Digest As we have seen over the weekend, an untimely death (such as they are) of a prodigious young talent is a shock to the system. Francisco Goldman, who did great journalism in Central America in the 1980s and has written a number of well-regarded novels including The Divine Husband, suffered an inconsolable loss in July 2007, when his 30-year-old wife, the blossoming writer Aura Estrada, suffered a fatal accident while body surfing in the Pacific Ocean near Mazunte, Mexico.

In her honor, Goldman and an impressive array of friends have established the Aura Estrada Prize. All manner of literary knickknacks and tchockes are being auctioned, including books by famous writers, dinner dates with famous writers, signed rare collectors' editions, and manuscript pages. The first fundraiser will be in Manhattan on Sept. 18 with Salman Rushdie, Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt, Peter Carey, Frances Coady, Junot Díaz, Colum McCann, and others. On Nov. 6 and 7, Auster and Hustvedt will host a reading and benefit in Oaxaca, Mexico; a third benefit is scheduled in Mexico City on Nov. 25. The prize announcement will be made at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, which begins the following week and featuring Gabriel García Márquez.
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