Montemayor, Carlos (1947–)

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Montemayor, Carlos (1947–)

The Mexican writer Carlos Montemayor is an award-winning novelist, essayist, poet, short-story writer, literary critic, and translator. He is nationally known for his contributions to indigenous literatures, and for addressing a broad range of topics, from his personal experiences in rural Mexico to the Tlatelolco massacre of October 1968 to the current conflict in Chiapas. In 1997 the Writers Association in Indigenous Languages (Asociación de Escritores en Lenguas Indígenas) honored him for his contributions to the dissemination of indigenous literatures in Mexico.

A decisive experience in his literary career was his interaction with a community of writers and scholars in Mexico City that included Rosario Castellanos (1925–1974), Ruben Bonifaz Nuño (b. 1923), Salvador Elizondo (1932–2006), Alí Chumacero (b. 1918), and Juan Rulfo (1917–1986). Although Montemayor's narratives are not historical, they are based on a strong reelaboration of oral traditions, personal interviews, and extensive research in rural areas. In addition, Montemayor has also translated into Spanish a plethora of twentieth-century English, Portuguese, and other European texts, as well as classical Latin and Greek poetry.

A member of the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua, the Real Academia Española, and the Asociación de Escritores en Lenguas Indígenas, Montemayor has received numerous literary awards and fellowships in Europe, the United States, and Mexico. He is the author of the poetry collections Las Armas del Viento (1977), Abril y otros poemas (1979), Finisterra (1982), Abril y otras estaciones (1989), Poesía (1997), Antología personal (2001), and Los amores pastoriles; the short story collections Las llaves de Urgell (1971), El alba y otros cuentos (1986), Operativo en el trópico (1994), Cuentos gnósticos (1997), and La tormenta y otras historias (1999); the novels Mal de Piedra (1980), Minas del Retorno (1982), Guerra en el Paraíso (1991), Los informes secretos (1999), and Las armas del alba (2003); and the essay collections La rebelión indígena de Mexico (1998), Rehacer la historia (2000), and Los pueblos indios de Mexico (2001).

See alsoBonifaz Nuño, Rubén; Castellanos, Rosario; Chumacero, Alí; Elizondo, Salvador; Literature: Spanish America; Rulfo, Juan.


Cortéz, Eladio, ed. Dictionary of Mexican Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.

                                         Juan Carlos Grijalva

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Montemayor, Carlos (1947–)

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