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Martínez, Tomás Eloy (1934–)

Martínez, Tomás Eloy (1934–)

Tomás Eloy Martínez is a well-known Argentinean writer and an outspoken critic of the military dictatorship of Juan Domingo Perón. Born in the Argentinean town of Tucumán in 1934, Martínez completed his undergraduate education at the University of Tucumán, where he studied Spanish and Latin American literature. In 1957 he began his career writing as a film critic for the newspaper La Nación in Buenos Aires. He published his first book, Sagrado (Sacred), in 1969, then worked as a reporter in Paris for a year. In 1970 he received his M.A. in literature from the Université de Paris.

During the years of military dictatorship in Argentina (1975–1983), Martínez was forced into exile in Caracas, Venezuela. The three books he wrote during that time—Los testigos de afuera (Witnesses Outside, 1978; Lugar común, la muerte (Common Place, Death, 1979); and Retrato del artista enmascarado (Portrait of the Artist, Masked, 1982) were published in Argentina when the military dictatorship ended. His best-known work is La novela de Perón (The Peron Novel, 1985), an historical novel that deals with Perón's return to Argentina in 1973 after eighteen years in exile. The book caused a scandal: Because Martínez had conducted many interviews with Perón, the public wondered whether some of the novel's details were true rather than fictionalized. His book Santa Evita (1995), about Perón's beloved wife, is the most translated book in Argentinean history, appearing in more than thirty languages.

In 1995 Martínez became director of Latin American Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, a position which he still held in 2007. His 2002 novel El vuelo de la reina (The Flight of the Queen) won the prestigious Spanish Alfaguara Award for best novel. He has received seven honorary doctorates and a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, and has been a fellow at numerous institutions, including the Wilson Center.

See alsoPerón, Juan Domingo .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Domínguez Cáceres, Roberto. Santa Evita: Los entremanos del lector y sus obras. Mexico: Miguel Angel Porrúa, 2003.

Zelarayán, Carolina. Deseo, desencanto y memoria: La narrativa de Tomás Eloy Martínez. Tucumán, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, 2003.

Zuffi, María Griselda. Demasiado real: Los excesos de la historia en la escritura de Tomás Eloy Martínez (1973–1995). Buenos Aires: Corregidor, 2007.

                                       Emily Berquist

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