Edwards, Jorge (1931–)
Edwards, Jorge (1931–)
Jorge Edwards was born in Santiago on July 29, 1931. He studied law at the University of Chile before venturing into a diplomatic career and later achieving literary fame. Having joined Chile's diplomatic corps in the late 1950s, Edwards worked for several years in Paris, where he forged important friendships with Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and Mario Vargas Llosa. While serving in Europe he also began his writing career, publishing El Patio (The Patio), Gente de la ciudad (People of the City), and El peso de la noche (The Weight of Night), among others.
In 1971 President Salvador Allende tasked Edwards with reopening the Chilean embassy in Havana. It was as a result of this assignment that Edwards wrote what is likely his most famous work, Persona Non Grata—the title bestowed on Edwards by Fidel Castro's government after three months. The book, which was unmistakable in its distaste for authoritarian governments, especially Cuba's, drew the rebuke of extremists on the left and right while launching Edwards into the international spotlight. General Augusto Pinochet's coup in 1973 truncated Edwards' diplomatic career, and exiled him to Spain where he became a journalist and literary figure. Upon returning to Chile in the late 1970s Edwards renewed his political activism. President Eduardo Frei appointed him as ambassador to UNESCO from 1994 to 1996. In 1999, Edwards was awarded the Cervantes Prize, the most prestigious award for Spanish-language literature. He is a regular contributor to the major international newspapers Le Monde (Paris), El Pais (Madrid), and La Nacion (Buenos Aires).
Works by Jorge Edwards
El patio [The Patio], 1952; 2nd edition, 1980.
Gente de la ciudad: Cuentos [People of the City: Stories], 1961.
El peso de la noche [The Weight of Night], 1967.
Persona non grata (1973; Persona Non Grata, 1976).
Los convidades de piedra [The Guests of Stone], 1978.
El anfitrión [The Host], 1987.
Adios, poeta [Goodbye, Poet], 1990.
El origin del mundo [The Origin of the World], 1996.
El sueño de la historia [The Dream of History], 2000.
El inútil de la familia [The Useless One of the Family], 2004.
Oviedo, José Miguel. Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana, 4 vols. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1995–2001.
Sean H. Goforth