Morales, Mario Roberto (1947–)

views updated

Morales, Mario Roberto (1947–)

Mario Roberto Morales (b. 5 September 1947), Guatemalan novelist. Morales came of age during the first cycle of the armed revolutionary struggle in Guatemala in the 1960s and 1970s. His participation in the guerrilla movement resulted in his arrest in Mexico in 1982 and subsequent deportation to Costa Rica, where he lived until 1991. Improved political conditions have allowed him to reestablish residency in Guatemala. His prize-winning novels combine autobiographical experiences with the linguistic, temporal, and structural experimentation found in Latin American "Boom" fiction. He is ranked by Seymour Menton as one of the leading representatives of the Guatemalan "new" novel. His experimental first novel, Obraje (1971), won the Floral Games Competition for Novel in Quetzaltenango; Los demonios salvajes (1978; 2d ed., 1993), which recounts his growing political awareness, won the Premio Unico Centroamericano de Novela: "15 de septiembre"; El esplendor de la pirámide (1985), about a love affair between a Mexican girl and a Guatemalan guerrilla, won the Latin American EDUCA Prize for the novel; and El ángel de la retaguardia (unpublished), about a Guatemalan expatriate in Italy, was a finalist for the Nueva Nicaragua Prize. His recent works, Señores bajo los árboles, a novelized testimony of Guatemalan Indian voices, and La ideología y la lírica de la lucha armada, a critical study of Guatemalan literature during the two decades of the armed struggle, were published in 1994. Several of his short stories and his Epigramas para interrogar a Patricia (1982) have been translated into English. In 1990 he published another work of poetry, Epigramas. In 1999, he published a collection of essays entitled La articulación de las diferencias o el síndrome de Maximón. In 2000, his Face of the Earth, Heart of the Sky was published in English. As of 2007, he taught in the department of Modern Languages at the University of Northern Iowa. In 2007, he won the National Miguel Angel Asturias Literature Prize.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


For a detailed review of the life and works of Morales, see Ann González, "Mario Roberto Morales," in Dictionary of Literary Biography: Modern Latin-American Fiction Writers (1994). For analyses specifically of Los demonios salvajes, see Ann González "La formación de la conciencia social en Los demonios salvajes de Mario Roberto Morales," in La literatura centroamericana, edited by Jorge Román Lagunas (1994), and Seymour Menton, Historia crítica de la novela guatemalteca, 2d ed. (1985). Morales discusses his own work, along with that of contemporary Guatemalan writers Marco Antonio Flores and Arturo Arias, in "La nueva novela guatemaleca y sus funciones de clase: La política y la ideología," in Ileana Rodríguez, Ramón Acevedo, and Mario Roberto Morales, Literatura y crisis en Centroamérica: Ponencias (1986). The English translation of his epigrams is "Epigrams to Interrogate Patricia," in Latin American Literary Review 18 (July-December 1990): 87-103.

Additional Bibliography

Asturias, Miguel Angel, and Mario Roberto Morales. Cuentos y leyendas. Madrid: Alica XX, 2000.

Volek, Emil. Latin America Writes Back: Postmodernity in the Periphery (An Interdisciplinary Perspective.) New York: Routledge, 2002.

                                       Ann GonzÁlez

About this article

Morales, Mario Roberto (1947–)

Updated About content Print Article