Perera, Víctor (1934–2003)

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Perera, Víctor (1934–2003)

Víctor Perera (b. 12 April 1934; d. 14 June 2003), Guatemalan writer. Born in Guatemala of Sephardic Jewish parents who had emigrated from Jerusalem, Perera immigrated to the United States at age twelve. Educated at Brooklyn College (B.A., 1956) and the University of Michigan (M.A., 1958), he became a reporter, writer, and editor for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Atlantic, Harper's, and many other journals. His articles, short stories, and essays, often dealing with Latin America and Jewish themes, are noted for their sensitivity and perceptive-ness. His first novel, The Conversion (1970), was followed by works of nonfiction, including Last Lords of Palenque: The Lacandon Mayas of the Mexican Rain Forest (with Robert D. Bruce, 1982), Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood (1986), and Broken Promises: The Guatemalan Tragedy (1991).

He was awarded the NEA Creative Writing Fellowship (1980), the PEN Syndicated Fiction Prize (1986), and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund Writing Award (1992–94). His last project was a book on whales. He suffered from a stroke in 1998 and never fully recovered.

See alsoHispanics in the United States; Journalism.


Additional Bibliography

Perera, Victor. Rites: A Guatemalan Boyhood. San Francisco: Mercury House, 1994, 1986 1st Mercury House ed.

                          Ralph Lee Woodward Jr.