Miguel Ángel Asturias  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Miguel Ángel Asturias Rosales (October 19, 1899June 9, 1974) was a Guatemalan writer and diplomat. He was awarded the 1967 Nobel Prize in literature "for his vivid literary achievement, deep-rooted in the national traits and traditions of Indian peoples of Latin America."

Asturias was born in Guatemala City and died in Madrid, Spain. In 1904 his family moved from the capital to Salamá, Baja Verapaz, where they remained until 1908. In 1917, while studying law at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (after a brief one-year flirtation with medicine), Asturias participated in the 1920 uprising against dictator Manuel Estrada Cabrera. He graduated in 1923 and went to Paris, France, to further his education at the Sorbonne. While living in Paris, he was influenced by the gathering of writers and artists in Montparnasse, and began writing poetry and fiction.

Asturias returned to Guatemala in 1933 where he worked as a journalist before serving in his country's diplomatic corps. When the government of President Jacobo Arbenz fell in 1954, he was banned from the country by Carlos Castillo Armas. While living in exile he became a well known author with the release of his novel, Mulata de Tal. Eventually, in 1966, democratically elected President Julio César Méndez Montenegro appointed him the ambassador to France, the same year he won the Lenin Peace Prize.

Asturias spent his final years in Madrid, where he died in 1974. He is buried in the Cimetière du Père Lachaise in Paris.

During a 2005 meeting between a number of Latin American Presidents in Honduras, Mexican President Vicente Fox was quoted as saying: We have proposed to realize work together, according to our ancestors' visions...and we are the children of one seed, a generous land of men and women of the corn, as the great Guatemalan writer Miguel Ángel Asturias once said.

His son Rodrigo Asturias, under the nom de guerre Gaspar Ilom, was head of the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca, a unified rebel group during the Civil War in the 1980s, and after the peace accords 1996 became the group's presidential candidate.

In 1991, the Guatemalan writer Luis Cardoza y Aragón published "Miguel Angel Asturias, Casi Novela" about their time together during the 1920s and 1930s in Paris.


  • Arquitectura de la vida nueva (1928)
  • Leyendas de Guatemala ("Legends of Guatemala") (1930)
    • Leyenda del Cadejo ("Legend of the Cadejo")
    • Leyenda de la Tatuana ("Legend of La Tatuana")
  • Sonetos ("Sonnets") (1936)
  • El señor Presidente ("The President"), a novel (1946)
  • Hombres de maíz ("Men of Maize") (1949)
  • "The Banana Trilogy"
    • Viento fuerte ("The Cyclone") (1950)
    • El papa verde ("The Green Pope") (1954)
    • Los ojos de los enterrados ("The Eyes of the Interred") (1960)
  • Carta Aérea a mis amigos de América (1952)
  • Week-end en Guatemala ("Weekend in Guatemala") (1956)
  • El alhajadito ("The Bejeweled Boy") (1961)
  • Mulata de tal (1963)
  • Rumania, su nueva imagen (1964)
  • Latinoamérica y otros ensayos (1968)
  • Malandrón (1969)
  • Viernes de Dolores (1972)
  • América, fábula de fábulas (1972)
  • Sociología guatemalteco (1977)
  • Tres de cuatro soles (1977)

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