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0231041640The Boom in Spanish American Literature: A Personal History by Jose Donoso. New York. 1977. Columbia University Press. 122 pages. Jacket Design by Laiying Chong. 0231041640.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Recent years have witnessed an astonishing eruption in the literary output of writers in Latin America, a phenomenon that the Latin Americans themselves refer to as the Boom. This book is a fascinating account of this exciting period in Latin American letters by the Chilean novelist Jose Donoso. Mr. Donoso's latest novel, The Obscene Bird of Night, was published in the United States and received an extraordinary frontpage review in the New York Times Book Review; his short stories and novellas will appear in English translation this year. Himself a product of the era he describes, Mr. Donoso provides a personal history and critique of the Boom that has brought a number of outstanding writers to the forefront. Among the writers Mr. Donoso discusses in his account are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, and Jorge Luis Borges. Originally published in Spain, this book recounts Mr. Donoso's own psychic and literary liberation from intellectual provinciality and tells how the so-called Boom actually came to be. Placing this 'fortunate explosion' in perspective, the author links significant changes in the contemporary Spanish American novel to a process of internationalization and to a growing sophistication and cosmopolitanism on the part of young Latin American writers. He deflates the myths surrounding this new crop of writers-particularly their 'literary cocktail circuit' reputation-and provides glimpses into the literary lives of many of Latin America's most celebrated authors. Written by a charming, keen, and self-aware observer, The Boom is a valuable as well as an entertaining commentary on the riches of contemporary Spanish American literature. The book will find an audience among students, specialists, and general readers interested in a literature that is now taking its place in the consciousness of Americans both North and South. Foreword by Ronald Christ. A Center for Inter-American Relations Book.

 

 

Donoso Jose José Donoso Yáñez (October 5, 1924–December 7, 1996) was a Chilean writer. He lived most of his life in Chile, although he spent many years in self-imposed exile in Mexico, the United States (Iowa) and mainly Spain. Although he had left his country in the sixties for personal reasons, after 1973 he said his exile was also a form of protest against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. He returned to Chile in 1981 and lived there until his death. Donoso is the author of a number of remarkable stories and novels, which contributed greatly to the Latin American literary boom. The term 'Boom' was coined in his 1972 essay Historia personal del ‘boom’. His best known works include the novels Coronación, El lugar sin límites (The Place Without Limits) and El obsceno pájaro de la noche (The Obscene Bird of Night). His works deal with a number of themes, including sexuality, the duplicity of identity, psychology, and a sense of dark humor. After his death, his personal papers at the University of Iowa revealed his homosexuality; a revelation that caused a certain controversy in Chile.

 

 

 


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