Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. He is known for his unique writing style, blending satire, humor, and science fiction. One of his most famous novels, “Galapagos,” published in 1985, is set on the Galapagos Islands (an archipelago that belongs to Ecuador) which explores the evolution of humanity over a million years. Vonnegut was inspired to write about the Galapagos after visiting the islands in 1979. Despite having no direct relationship with Ecuador or its mainland, Vonnegut’s novel helped to popularize the Galapagos and draw attention to the unique wildlife found there. Vonnegut’s other famous novels include “Slaughterhouse-Five,” “Cat’s Cradle,” and “Breakfast of Champions,” which often address themes of war, technology, and the human condition.

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Luis Espinosa Goded

Luis Espinosa Goded is a Spanish professor of economics, researcher, and columnist who currently resides in Ecuador. He is a faculty member at the College of Business Administration and Economics at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. In 2019, he co-authored the book “Crónicas del socialismo del siglo XXI” with professor Andrés Ortiz Lemos. The book provides a critical perspective on 20th century socialism in Ecuador.

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De Plácido e Silva

Oscar Joseph de Plácido e Silva, known as De Plácido e Silva (Marechal Deodoro, Brazil, June 18, 1892 – Curitiba, Brazil, January 16, 1963) was a Brazilian jurist, writer, editor, translator, publisher, teacher, and businessman. In 1939, he founded and directed a publishing house, Editora Guaíra, headquartered in Curitiba, Brazil. In 1940, he created the publishing house’s Estante Americana collection which was the first to feature Hispanic American novels by neighboring countries. The famous Brazilian novelist and translator, Jorge Amado, was asked for title suggestions and acted as a sort of unofficial director of the collection. Due to its powerful social critique, Amado recommended the inclusion of “Huasipungo,” a 1934 novel by Ecuadorian author Jorge Icaza. De Plácido e Silva translated and edited “Huasipungo” into Portuguese and wrote the preface for the book, which was dated June 1941. It was the book’s first-ever Portuguese translation; since then, two additional Portuguese translations have been made. It is worth noting that the collection’s most successful works were “Doña Bárbara,” by Venezuelan author Rómulo Gallegos (translated by Jorge Amado in 1940) and “Huasipungo” by Ecuadorian author Jorge Icaza (translated by De Plácido e Silva in 1941). A school in Pinhais, Brazil, “Colégio Estadual Oscar Joseph D’Plácido e Silva,” established in the year 2000, was named in his honor.

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Michael H. Handelsman

Michael H. Handelsman (Weehawken, New Jersey, United States, May 11, 1948) is an American university professor, scholar, literary critic, and writer. He is professor emeritus of Latin American literature at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he has been teaching since 1976. He has directed the university’s Latin American Studies and Global Studies programs. His principal area of specialization is Ecuadorian literature and culture. Some of his books include: “Amazonas y artistas: Un estudio de la prosa de la mujer Ecuatoriana” (1978), “Lo afro y la plurinacionalidad: el caso ecuatoriano visto desde su literatura” (1999), and “Leyendo la globalización desde la mitad del mundo: identidad y resistencias en el Ecuador” (2005) which received the Isabel Tobar Guarderas award in Quito and the A.B. Thomas award in the U.S. He’s also written extensively on Benjamín Carrión, including: “En torno al verdadero Benjamín Carrión” (1989), “El ideario de Benjamín Carrión” (1992) and “Benjamín Carrión: el pensamiento fundamental” (2007). He’s been a visiting professor at the University of Kentucky, the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG), and the Simon Bolivar Andean University of Quito. Since November 12, 2012, he’s been a foreign corresponding member of Ecuador’s National Academy of Language.

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Paulo de Carvalho Neto

Paulo de Carvalho Neto (Simão Dias, Sergipe, Brazil, September 10, 1923 – Rio de Janeiro, August 17, 2003) was a Brazilian anthropologist, ethnologist, folklorist, writer, novelist, and essayist. Because of his research and study of oral traditions in Ecuador and other countries he is considered the progenitor of “folklore” as a field of study in Latin America. He lived outside of Brazil for many years, including Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador (for 6 years), and the United States (for 17 years) where he taught at UCLA. In January 1960 he was appointed Cultural Attaché of the Brazilian embassy in Quito, Ecuador’s capital with the mission of organizing a Center for Brazilian Studies there. He collaborated with Benjamín Carrión of the House of Ecuadorian Culture (CCE), and together with poet Jorge Enrique Adoum and artist Oswaldo Guayasamín founded the Ecuadorian Institute of Folklore. He taught classes at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature of the Central University of Ecuador. He also co-founded, and directed, the Revista del Folklore Ecuatoriano [Ecuadorian Folklore Magazine], published by the House of Ecuadorian Culture. Several of his books on folklore theory, including “The Concept of Folklore” and “Folklore and Psychoanalysis” were translated into English by Jacques M.P. Wilson and published by University of Miami Press in the late 60’s and early 70’s. In 1972, he published a neo-Indiginest novel entitled, “Mi Tío Atahualpa” [My Uncle Atahualpa], about the Ecuadorian Indians in the highlands of Quito, which has been translated into Portuguese, Finnish, German, and Dutch.

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Ricardo de la Fuente

Ricardo de la Fuente (Llanura, Argentina) was an Argentinian writer, journalist and professor who immigrated to Ecuador in 1976 and lived in the coastal city of Manta since 1985. He pursued humanities and journalism studies at the University of La Plata. Later, he worked for radio stations and publications up until 1976, when the military dictatorship in Argentina imprisoned him without actually ever bringing any charges against him. He relocated to Ecuador after being set free, where he established a family and worked as a journalist. He contributed to the Diario Manabita and El Sol newspapers in Ecuador. He received the “la Pluma de Oro” medal from the “Jorge Mantilla Ortega” national journalism competition in 1997. He wrote about a dozen nonfiction books and a novel entitled “Tagua. Una Historia de Ultramar.” He taught at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the University of Manta.

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Gonzalo Llona

Gonzalo Llona Marchena (Lima, Peru, March 21, 1864 – May 20, 1933) was a poet and journalist. He was the son of the famous Ecuadorian poet Numa Pompilio Llona. He was a staff editor of the newspaper El Telegrafo. He wrote the hymns of several schools, a labor union, the firefighters of Guayaquil and the Boy Scouts of Ecuador. In 1921 he published “Ecos del alma,” a collection of hymns and patriotic poems.

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Francisco Arízaga Luque

Francisco Arízaga Luque was an Ecuadorian poet, writer and politician. He was born in Lima, Peru on February 6, 1900, while his father was exiled by the liberal regime of Eloy Alfaro, and died in Guayaquil, Ecuador on October 22, 1964. Arízaga served as the President of Ecuador from July 14, 1925 to January 10, 1926 as part of the First Provisional Government. Other public posts he held include Minister of Public Education and Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom and Venezuela.

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María Fernanda Espinosa

María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés (b. September 7, 1964, Salamanca, Spain) is an Ecuadorian politician, diplomat, writer, and poet affiliated with the political party PAIS Alliance. She holds the distinction of being the first woman to serve as Ecuador’s minister of national defense, the first woman to be appointed as Ecuador’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, and the first Latina woman to be elected as president of the UN General Assembly. Prior to her political and diplomatic career, she was an Associate Professor and Researcher at the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO). Ms. Espinosa Garcés is also a prolific writer and poet, having published over 30 academic articles on various topics such as the Amazon River, culture, heritage, climate change, and foreign policy, among others. She has authored five volumes of poetry and was awarded the Ecuadorian National Poetry Prize in 1990.

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