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Miguel Angel Asturias

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature-1967, Lenin Peace Prize-1966

Nobel Committee in its citation stated that the prize was given for "his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian people of Latin America. "

Born: 19/10/1899 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America.

Died:  09/06/1974 in Madrid, Spain. Buried at Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Citizen: Guatemalan

Language: Spanish

Miguel Angel Asturias Rosales was born in a well to do family in Guatemala city. His father was a lawyer and judge and mother was a school teacher. Asturias Sr. opposed Dictatorship and during the rule of Manuel Estrada Cabrera, he lost his job in 1904 when he ordered release of some students arrested for causing disturbances. In 1905, Miguel moved to Salama when he came in explicit contact of indigenous people and learned their customs and habits and folklores.

 He graduated in Law in 1923 securing the top position in Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. He moved to Europe the same year and studied Ethnology in Sorbonne University, Paris. While in Paris, he came under the influence of Surrealist poet Andre Breton. His first novel,Leyendas de Guatemala.(Legends of Guatemala), was published in 1930 and he translated the novel to French for which he received  Sylla Monsegur Prize in 1932.

   In 1933, he returned to Guatemala and stayed there till 1944. During this period, he wrote poetry and the collection was published in a book form, Sien de alondra in 1949. He also opposed the rule of the dictator Jorge Ubico . His novel, El Señor Presidente, was written during this period but could not be published due to polical censorship. It was finally published in 1946. His novel, Men of Maize, was published in 1949 when he was Ambassador to Mexico.

    Asturias was greatly inspired by the Maya culture of Central America. It is an overarching theme in many of his works and greatly influenced the style of this writing.


 Notable Works:     El Señor Presidente                                           -- The President(1946/),Hombres de maíz -- Men of Maize (1949/),Banana Trilogy: Viento fuerte- Strong Wind (/1950) ,El Papa Verde -- The Green Pope(/1954), Los ojos de los enterrados-- The Eyes of the Interred(1960), Mulata de tal-- The Mulatta and Mr. Fly(1963/1963), Cyclone-- Cyclone(/1967),

Miguel Angel Asturias

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