Garmendia, Salvador (1928–2001)

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Garmendia, Salvador (1928–2001)

Salvador Garmendia (b. 1928; d. 13 May 2001), Venezuelan novelist and short-story writer. One of Venezuela's major fiction writers of the twentieth century, Garmendia published more than a dozen books. Although he is recognized by writers and critics alike, Garmendia has never been included among the writers of the Boom of Latin American literature in the 1960s and 1970s. Consequently, his fiction is far better known in the Hispanic world than in the United States, particularly his novels Los pequeños seres (1959), Día de cenizas (1963), Los habitantes (1968), and El Capitán Kid (1988).

The masterly use of a precise point of view makes Garmendia one of Latin America's best exponents of the narrative technique of the French nouveau roman. In his early novels, he portrays alienated characters in urban environments. The protagonist in Los pequeños seres becomes so desperate with his circumstances that he commits suicide. Protagonists in his other early fiction include such characters as an unemployed truck driver and a frustrated writer. In his later fiction, such as El Capitán Kid (1988), Crónicas sádicas (1990), and Cuentos cómicos (1991), Garmendia's tone is less anguished and often ironic and quite humorous. In 1989, he was awarded the Juan Rolfo Prize for his book Tan desuda como una piedra.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


John S. Brushwood, The Spanish American Novel: A Twentieth-Century Survey (1975).

Giuseppe Bellini, Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana (1985).

George Mc Murray, Spanish American Writing Since 1941 (1987).

Additional Bibliography

Rodriguez, Yesenia M. La narrativa de Salvador Garmendia: Más allá de la razón. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997.

Vestrini, Miyó. Salvador Garmendia. Caracas: Grijalbo, 1994.

                              Raymond Leslie Williams