Oscar Villalon is a San Francisco writer and critic. His work has appeared in VQR, The Believer, Black Clock, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR.org, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @ovillalon

The new volume of Granta highlights bright new literary stars from across the Spanish-speaking world, says critic Oscar Villalon—and they wrestle with dark themes in a way few American writers dare to.

A new anthology of literature from the Middle East is a stunning rebuke to the argument that there’s a clash of civilizations, says Oscar Villalon—and shows how we can move beyond politics.

In the latest installment of our profiles of  emerging writers to watch, The Daily Beast talks to Patricia Engel about her superb new story collection.