A close look at Mr. President with translator David Unger, novelists Valeria Luiselli and Rodrigo Fuentes, and scholar Vivian Arimany. In an unnamed country, an egomaniacal dictator schemes to dispose of a political adversary and maintain his grip on power. As tyranny takes hold, everyone is forced to choose between compromise and death. Inspired by life under the regime of President Manuel Estrada Cabrera of Guatemala, where it was banned for many years, Nobel Prize winner Miguel Ángel Asturias’s magnum opus is a surrealist masterpiece, and a gripping portrait of psychological terror. Brooklyn Public Library’s Second Read considers Mr. President today, how it fits into our moment (or was denied its place in our moment). As we filter the novel through the rules of our own times, what is its place in that shifting concept known as the canon? Moderated by Marcela Valdes, New York Times.