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YGK L.A. Authors

You Gotta Know These Latin American Authors

QuestionAnswer
The master of magic realism, his birthplace of Aracataca was the model for the fictional town of Macondo. Gabriel García-Marquez (1928-present, Colombia; Nobel Prize for Literature 1982).
The town of Macondo played a prominent role in many of his works, such as Leaf Storm and his seminal novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), which details the decline of the Buendía family over seven generations. Gabriel García-Marquez (1928-present, Colombia; Nobel Prize for Literature 1982).
A newspaper journalist in the 1950s,he exposed a naval scandal (chronicled in The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor). Gabriel García-Marquez (1928-present, Colombia; Nobel Prize for Literature 1982).
Other prominent novels include In Evil Hour, Love in the Time of Cholera, and The General in His Labyrinth, a depiction of Simón Bolívar's final years. Gabriel García -Marquez (1928-present, Colombia; Nobel Prize for Literature 1982).
Born Neftalí Reyes, he adopted the surname of the 19th century Czech poet Jan Neruda. Gabriela Mistral was the head of his school in the small city of Temuco. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973, Chile; Nobel 1971)
1923 saw the publication of his best-known work, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, which led to diplomatic appointments. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973, Chile; Nobel 1971)
As a penniless consul in Burma in the 1930s, he wrote the surrealist collection Residence on Earth. He served in the Chilean senate in the 1940s, though government opponents forced him into exile over his Communist views. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973, Chile; Nobel 1971)
Crossing the Andes on horseback inspired his epic Canto general (1950). He died of cancer days after his friend Salvador Allende was executed. Pablo Neruda (1904-1973, Chile; Nobel 1971)
One-quarter English,he learned that language before he learned Spanish. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986, Argentina)
Educated in Europe during WWI, he met a circle of avant-garde poets in Spain, which inspired him to found the ultraismo movement and publish the collection Fervor of Buenos Aires (1923) when he returned to Argentina. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986, Argentina)
While working in a library, he developed his greatest short stories, collected in A Universal History of Infamy (1935), Ficciones (1944), and The Aleph (1949). Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986, Argentina)
By his fifties, a disorder inherited from his father had taken his eyesight, but in 1962 he completed the influential story collection Labyrinths. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986, Argentina)
Actually born in Peru, at age three she moved to her mother's native Chile. Isabel Allende (1942-present, Chile)
A successful news reporter in her twenties, she and her family fled to Venezuela after General Augusto Pinochet deposed and executed her uncle, setting up a dictatorship. Isabel Allende (1942-present, Chile)
Her formal literary career began at age 40, when she published The House of the Spirits, a magic realist work that chronicles several generations of the Trueba family. Isabel Allende (1942-present, Chile)
Other works of fiction include the short-story collection Eva Luna (1989) and Paula (1995), which detailed Allende's care for her terminally ill daughter. Isabel Allende (1942-present, Chile)
The first Latin American to win the Nobel Literature Prize, she was actually named Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, but took her pen name from the Italian and French poets Gabriele D'Annunzio and Frédéric Mistral respectively. Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957, Chile; Nobel 1945)
At first a prominent educator, she wrote "Sonnets of Death" (1914) after the suicide of her fiancé. Those sonnets later appeared in her most famous collection, Desolation (1922). Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957, Chile; Nobel 1945)
A native Chilean, she served as a diplomat both in the United States and Europe. Langston Hughes translated a portion of Mistral's poetry into English just after she died. Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957, Chile; Nobel 1945)
A prominent poet and essayist, he supported leftist causes in Mexico; he fought briefly for the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. Octavio Paz (1914-1998, Mexico; Nobel 1990).
He published the poetry collection Luna silvestre at age 19, and his 584-line poem The Sun Stone deals with the planet Venus, an important symbol to the Aztecs. Octavio Paz (1914-1998, Mexico; Nobel 1990).
While studying in Los Angeles, he observed flamboyantly dressed Mexican-American pachucos ("zoot-suiters"), who inspired him to write about Mexico and its Native American/mestizo heritage in his pivotal essay collection, The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950). Octavio Paz (1914-1998, Mexico; Nobel 1990).
Another prose work, In the Light of India (1997), reflected Paz's part-(East) Indian heritage. Octavio Paz (1914-1998, Mexico; Nobel 1990).
Best known as a poet and a revolutionary, he fought tirelessly for Cuban independence. José Martí (1853-1895, Cuba)
His Ill-Omened Friendship (1885) is considered the first Spanish modernist novel, and his poetry collections include Our America and Simple Verses; the poem "Guantanamera" was the inspiration for several songs. José Martí (1853-1895, Cuba)
Imprisoned at age 16 and exiled from the island several times, he settled in New York for the last fifteen years of his life, where he wrote essays on Walt Whitman, Jesse James, and the threat of Latin American economic dependence on the United States. José Martí (1853-1895, Cuba)
He was killed in a skirmish at Dos Ríos while participating in an invasion with other Cuban exiles. José Martí (1853-1895, Cuba)
hile attending military school in Lima, he wrote the play The Escape of the Inca (1952), but the harsh treatment he received there was the basis for his best-known novel, The Time of the Hero. Mario Vargas Llosa (1936-present, Peru).
Conversation in the Cathedral (1969) was Vargas Llosa's serious take on living under the dictatorship of Manuel Odría, while in 1977 he published the lighter, autobiographical Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, about soap operas. Mario Vargas Llosa (1936-present, Peru).
Other important works include The War of the End of the World and A Fish in the Water, which discusses his political career; Vargas Llosa ran for president of Peru in 1990 but was defeated by Alberto Fujimori. Mario Vargas Llosa (1936-present, Peru).
Left his native Guatemala in 1923 to study in Paris. There he discovered Mayan mythology, and translated the Popol Vuh into Spanish; the theme would pervade his work, such as 1963's Mulata de tal. Miguel Asturias (1899-1974, Guatemala; Nobel 1967)
He most famous novel, El señor presidente (1946), was a satire against the oppressive Guatalemalan dictatorship. Miguel Asturias (1899-1974, Guatemala; Nobel 1967)
He also completed a trilogy that blasted exploitation by the American-led United Fruit Company, and the short-story collection Weekend in Guatemala (1956), based on the CIA-led overthrow of president Jacobo Arbenz's liberal government. Miguel Asturias (1899-1974, Guatemala; Nobel 1967)
Though born into a well-to-do family, he has often dealt with the betrayed ideals from the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the subject of both his first novel, Where the Air is Clear (1958), and his most successful book, The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962). Carlos Fuentes (1928-present, Mexico)
Other notable novels include Terra nostra, set during the reign of King Philip II of Spain, and The Old Gringo, which portrays Ambrose Bierce's last days in Mexico. Carlos Fuentes (1928-present, Mexico)
He has also penned absurdist plays and essay collections on Mexican and American art and literature. Carlos Fuentes (1928-present, Mexico)
Created by: Mr_Morman