Monterroso, Augusto (1921–)

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Monterroso, Augusto (1921–)

Augusto Monterroso (b. 21 December 1921), Guatemalan short-story writer, considered one of Latin America's contemporary masters of the genre. Completely self-taught, Monterroso had no more than elementary schooling in his native country. He moved to Mexico City in 1944, where he has lived ever since, except for a brief period as Guatemalan consul in La Paz, Bolivia (1951–1954), and a short stay in Santiago, Chile (1954–1956). A very exact, demanding, precise, and well-read writer, Monterroso published his first book, Obras completas y otros cuentos, in 1959. A ten-year silence followed, during which he worked as an editor for Editorial Universitaria, then published a contemporary renewal of the fable genre in Oveja negra y demás fábulas (1969). This book won the Magda Donato Award in 1970 and was translated into English as The Black Sheep and Other Fables (1971). In 1972 Monterroso won the Xavier Villaurrutia Award for Movimiento perpetuo. Monterroso organized a creative writing workshop for the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Institute of Fine Arts) and has had a hand in training most young Mexican writers. He became a best-selling author in Spain in the 1980s. Additional books by Monterroso are Lo demás es silencio (1978); Viaje al centro de la fábula (1981); La palabra mágica (1984); and La letra E (1987). In 1992, along with his wife, Bárbara Jacobs, he published Antolog'a del cuento triste. He won numerous awards in the 1990s, including the Guatemalan Journalists Association's Quetzal de Jade Maya, and the Juan Rolfo Prize for Latin American and Caribbean Literature. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of San Carlos in Guatemala. In 2000, he was recognized for his life's work with the prestigious Premio Principe de Asturias de las Letras. He died in Mexico City on February 8, 2003.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Wilfrido Corral, Lector, sociedad y género en Monterroso (1985) and La literatura de Augusto Monterroso (1988).

Additional Bibliography

González Zenteno, Gloria Estela. El dinosaurio sigue all': Arte y política en Monterroso. México, DF: Taurus, 2004.

Méndez Vides. Presencia y obra de Augusto Monterroso. Guatemala: Editorial Cultura, 2000.

Noguerol Jiménez, Francisca. La trampa en la sonrisa: Sá tira en la narrativa de Augusto Monterroso. Sevilla: Universidad de Sevilla, 1995.

Sánchez Zepeda, Gustavo and Gloria Hernández. Los nuevos escritores y Augusto Monterroso. Guatemala: Editorial Universitaria, Universidad de Guatemala, 2004.

                                     Arturo Arias

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Monterroso, Augusto (1921–)

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