Cueto, Alonso 1954-

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Cueto, Alonso 1954-


Born 1954, in Lima, Peru. Education: Catholic University of Peru, graduated, 1977; University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., 1984.


Office—Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, Prolongation Spring 2390, Monterric, Peru.


Writer, journalist, novelist, playwright, and educator. Peru 21 (newspaper), columnist; Peruvian University of Applied Sciences, Lima, Peru, professor of journalism; Centro Cultural of the Universidad Católica de Perú, conducts writing workshops. Previously taught English in Madrid, Spain.


Premio Wiracocha award, for El tigre blanco; Anna Seghers award, Anna Seghers foundation, Berlin, Germany; John Simon Guggenheim Foundation writing fellowship, 2002-2003; Award Herralde de Novela for La hora azul.


La batalla del pasado (short stories; title means "Last Year's Battle"), Ediciones Alfaguara (Madrid, Spain), 1983.

El tigre blanco (novel; title means "The White Tiger"), Wiracocha-Diselpesa (Lima, Peru), 1985.

Los vestidos de una dama (title means "The Dresses of a Lady"), PEISA (Lima, Peru), 1987.

Deseo de noche, Editorial Apoyo (Lima, Peru), 1993.

Amores de invierno (title means "Loves of Winter"), Editorial Apoyo (Lima, Peru), 1994.

El vuelo de la ceniza, Editorial Apoyo (Lima, Peru), 1995.

Pàlido cielo (short stories; title means "Pale Sky"), PEISA (Lima, Peru), 1998.

Demonio del mediodìa (novel), Arango Editores (Lima, Peru), 1999.

Encuentro casual: teatro, PEISA (Lima, Peru), 2002.

El otro amor de Diana Abril (three novellas; title means "The Other Love of Diana Abril"), PEISA (Lima, Peru), 2002.

(Editor, with Ursula Freundt-Thurne) Mario Vargas Llosa: la vida en movimiento, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (Lima, Peru), 2003.

Grandes miradas: novella, PEISA (Lima, Peru), 2003.

La hora azul (novel; title means "The Blue Hour"), PEISA (Lima, Peru), 2005.

Valses, rajes y cortejos: ensayos y crènicas sobre temas peruanos, PEISA (Lima, Peru), 2005.

Contributor to anthologies.


Grandes miradas was adapted as the film Black Butterfly, or Mariposa Negra, c. 2006.


Alonso Cueto is a Peruvian writer who gained critical notice with his first book of short stories La batalla del pasado ("Last Year's Battle") and his novel El tigre blanco ("The White Tiger"). Since then he has written more than ten books of short stories and novels. With a focus on Peru's middle class, the author writes about everyday life as people search for meaning in what often seems to be a banal existence. In El otro amor de Diana Abril ("The Other Love of Diana Abril"), the author presents three novellas in which writers are present as characters. In the title story, Cueto tells the tale of writer Veronica and her characters, primarily Diana, who hears a rumor on her wedding day that her soon-to-be husband has a violent temper. Although Diana tries to dismiss the rumor, it seems to have doomed her marriage. In the second novella, "Dalia y los perros" ("Dalia and the Dogs"), Cueto tells of a writer who meets a woman at a bar and goes home with her only to be held prisoner and kept in check by the woman's dogs. "Lagrimas artificiales" ("Artificial Tears"), the third novella, features a man who is struggling with his wife's death and becomes enamored of another woman that reminds him of her. "The collection comes together by giving voice to an upper-middle class torn by despair and by the futility of its existence," wrote Ana Maria Alfaro-Alexander in World Literature Today. "The writing process exorcises their demons and the protagonists struggle to grow as they pen their stories."

Cueto tells the story of a Peruvian dictator in his novel Grandes miradas: novella. The story revolves around the murder of a judge and his lover's determination to seek revenge. "Cueto's novel, set at the height of the Fujimori pseudodemocratic regime in Peru …, sets out to capture the corruption, cynicism, and violent repression that sustained the government," noted David William Foster in World Literature Today. Foster went on to write, "There is … much that reminds one of a Greco-Roman tragedy, with the sense of obsessed protagonists, tragic flaws, and shattering moments of anagnorisis."



World Literature Today, July-September, 2003, Ana Maria Alfaro-Alexander, review of El otro amor de Diana Abril, p. 143; May-August, 2005, David William Foster, review of Grandes miradas: novella, p. 105.


Archivo de Huellas Digitales, (November 20, 2006), discussion of author's works.

Canatur, (November 20, 2006), brief profile of author.

International Studies Abroad (ISA) Web site, (November 20, 2006), brief profile of author.