Peri Rossi, Cristina (1941–)

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Peri Rossi, Cristina (1941–)

Cristina Peri Rossi (b. 12 November 1941), Uruguayan poet and fiction writer. Born in Montevideo, she studied literature at the University of the Republic in Montevideo. Her first book of short stories, Viviendo (Living), was published in 1963. The protagonists are marginal and indecisive female characters, immersed in solitude. In this first collection, Peri Rossi's fictional world began to develop. With the publication in 1969 of Los museos abandonados, a collection of short stories, and El libro de mis primos (The Book of My Cousins), her first novel, both built on an existentialist vision of reality, Peri Rossi began to be acknowledged as one of the most significant writers of her generation. The writers she recognizes as "mentors" are Uruguayans Juan Carlos Onetti and Felisberto Hernández together with Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Ray Bradbury, and Dino Buzzati. She explores peculiar aspects of human beings who find themselves in ambiguous situations and in the middle of mysterious happenings. Peri Rossi published Indicios pánicos (Frightening Signs) in 1970 and, in 1971, her first book of poems, Evohé: Poemas eróticos. Two years later, after being expelled from her country for political reasons, she chose Spain as her home.

Further poetic works include Descripción de un naufragio (Description of a Wreck, 1975), Diáspora (1976), Lingüística general (1979), and Europa después de la lluvia (Europe After the Rain, 1987). Between 1976 and 1980, Spanish institutions awarded her three important literary awards. She wrote several works of fiction: La tarde del dinosaurio (1976), La rebelión de los niños (1980), Cartas de Abelardo y Heloísa (1982), El museo de los esfuerzos inútiles (The Museum of Useless Efforts, 1983), La nave de los locos (The Ship of Fools, 1984), often considered her most important work, and Una pasión prohibida (1986), Cosmoagonías and Solitario de amor (1988), Acerca de la escritura (About Writing, 1990), Babel bárbara (Barbaric Babel, 1991), Fantasías eróticas (1991), and La última noche de Dostoievski (1992). A prolific writer, Peri Rossi, like other Romantics, finds her themes in nature and also has become a noteworthy subject in feminist and gender studies due to her incorporation of lesbian eroticism and themes of sexual discovery. Her collection of short stories Por fin solos (2004) exemplifies these two themes.

See alsoUruguay: The Twentieth Century .


Uberto Stabile, Cristina Peri Rossi (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Kaminsky, Amy. Reading the Body Politic. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

McClennen, Sophia. The Dialects of Exile: Nation, Time, Language, and Space in Hispanic Literatures. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 2004.

Roffé, Reina. "Homoerotismo y literature. Entrevista con Cristina Peri Rossi." Esp'eculo: Revista de Estudios Literarios (2004).

                              Magdalena GarcÍa Pinto