Goldemberg, Isaac (1945–)

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Goldemberg, Isaac (1945–)

Isaac Goldemberg (b. 15 November 1945), Peruvian author. Goldemberg was born in the small town of Chepén. His father and his family, Russian Jews, had immigrated to Peru in the 1930s. His maternal grandmother, a mestiza medicine woman, was from Cajamarca. Goldemberg received a Catholic education under the supervision of the local parish priest and was unaware of his Jewish heritage for a number of years. Learning of his mixed religious background reinforced his sense of being different from both Catholics and Jews. It is not surprising that the question of identity and a sense of exile pervade his works.

Completely bilingual in Spanish and English, Goldemberg helped produce the English translation of Hombre de paso, which was published in a bilingual edition. Among authors and critics who have praised his work are José Miguel Oviedo, Severo Sarduy, Marco Martos, and Mario Vargas Llosa.

Since 1964 Goldemberg has lived in New York City, where he is Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York and director of the Latin American Writers Institute/Instituto de Escritores Latinoamericanos, which organizes exhibitions of Latin American fiction and criticism, and editor of the Hostos Review. He is also on the staff of Brújula/Compass, a bimonthly magazine of bilingual Latino and Latin American literature written in the United States.

Goldemberg's published works include Tiempo de silencio (1969), poetry; De Chepén a La Habana (1973), poetry; The Fragmented Life of Don Jacobo Lerner, translated by Robert Picciotto (1976); La vida a plazos de don Jacobo Lerner, 2d ed. (1980); Hombre de paso/Just Passing Through, translated by David Unger and Isaac Goldemberg (1981); Tiempo al tiempo (1984); Play by Play, translated by Hardie St. Martin (1985); La vida al contado (1989), poetry, with a preface by Marco Martos and a sketchy and selective autobiographical account by Goldemberg; El gran libro de América judía (1998); Cuerpo del amor (2000), poetry; El nombre del padre (2002); Crónicas del exilio (2003), poetry; Los cementerios reales (2004), poetry. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Nuestro Award in Fiction (1977), the Luis Alberto Sánchez Award for Literary Essays (2002), and the Orden de Don Quijote (2005).

See alsoBrazil, Organizations: Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA); Literature: Spanish America; Mestizo.


Nouhaud, Dorita. Isaac Goldemberg: El hombre del libro. Lima: Ediciones El Santo Oficio, 2003.

Paredes Carbonell, Juan, ed. Isaac Goldemberg ante la crítica: Una visión múltiple. Lima: Ediciones del Instituto Luis Alberto Sánchez, 2003.

                                   Guido A. PodestÁ

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Goldemberg, Isaac (1945–)

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