Sáinz, Gustavo (1940–)

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Sáinz, Gustavo (1940–)

Gustavo Sáinz (b. 13 July 1940), Mexican fiction writer and critic. Born in Mexico City, Sáinz is known as a writer of Mexican "urban picaresque." Gazapo (1965), Obsesivos días circulares (1969), La princesa del Palacio de Hierro (1974), and Compadre Lobo (1977) are his best-known novels. Other works include Fantasmas aztecas (1982), Paseo en trapecio (1985), and Muchacho en llamas (1988). Together with José Agustín, Sáinz is associated with the generation of "La Onda," a group of young Mexican writers who published in the 1960s and 1970s and whose literature was characterized by attention to an urban adolescent subculture, the use of colloquial language and the oral quality of the text, and the characters' self-centered, nonconformist attitudes toward established social codes. In Sáinz's fiction Mexico City is a constant, autobiographically based reference, a voracious space intimately experienced by his characters, where language acts, in his words, "as the major protagonist of history." In 2003 his A troche y moche (2002) won the Colima Prize for best novel of the year in Mexico. When it was published in French, it won the best novel of the year award in Quebec. In 2006 his El juego de las sensaciónes elementales: Autobiografía a cuatro dedos was published.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Batis, Humberto, comp. Crítica bajo presión: Prosa mexicana, 1964–1985. Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coordinación de Humanidades, Programa Editorial, 2004.

                                Laura GarcÍa-Moreno