Sergio Nuñez

Sergio Núñez Santamaría (Santa Rosa, Ambato, October 7, 1896 – Quito, 1982) was a novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, literary critic and pedagogue. As a poet, he wrote in verse and prose, and was greatly influenced by the modernismo literary movement of Ruben Dario of Nicaragua. In 1918 he published his first poetry book, “Hostias de fuego,” with a prologue by Medardo Ángel Silva. He belonged to the “30 Generation,” a group of authors from the 1930’s Ecuador who used social realism in their fiction to denounce how Indians were treated in Ecuador. His novellas “Juego de hacienda” and “Circunferencia” are considered Indigenista fiction. A private school in Guayaquil bears his name.

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Ricardo Descalzi

Ricardo Descalzi del Castillo (Riobamba, September 22, 1912 – Riobamba, November 29, 1990) was an Ecuadorian novelist, historian, playwright, short story writer, translator, literary critic, university professor and medical doctor. In 1928, he founded the magazine Surcos with his Mejía National Institute classmates José Alfredo Llerena and Arturo Meneses. After graduating from high school in 1932, he published “Ghismondo,” a 100-page novel based on his experiences as a student. He also wrote the novel “Saloya” (1962), a short story collection “Los murmullos de Dios” (1959), and the stage plays “Los Caminos Blancos” (1939), “En el horizonte se alzó la niebla” (1961), and “El huasipungo de Andrés Chiliquinga” (1981). His six-volume “Historia crítica del teatro ecuatoriano” is perhaps his most important work (1968). Among his translations is “Poemas” (1969), a French-to-Spanish translation of poems by Nobel laureate Jean Poilvet Le Guenn. The Tobar Prize was bestowed upon him by the municipality of Quito in 1968. He was a member of the House of Ecuadorian Culture, the National Academy of History, and the Bolivarian Society of Quito, where he served as its vice president.

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Joaquín Gallegos Lara

Joaquín Gallegos Lara was an Ecuadorian social realist novelist, short story writer, poet, and literary critic. He was born in Guayaquil on April 9, 1909 and died in the same city on November 16, 1947. Lara was born with Pott’s Disease, a rare spinal disease which caused paralysis in his legs. Due to his inability to walk, he was unable to attend school and instead devoted himself to self-study at home, in which time he mastered the French, German, Italian, and Russian languages. He was a member of the “Guayaquil Group,” and has been described as the group’s spiritual leader. The book of short stories Los Que Se Van (1930), co-authored with Demetrio Aguilera Malta and Enrique Gil Gilbert, marked the beginning of literary social realism in Ecuador. His most notable novel, Las cruces sobre el agua (1946), deals with the massacre of workers of November 15, 1922.

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Enrique Gil Gilbert

Enrique Gil Gilbert was an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, nonfiction writer, politician and teacher. He was born in Guayaquil Ecuador on July 8, 1912 and died in the same city on February 21, 1973. He was the youngest member of the “Guayaquil Group,” a group of realist writers of the 1930s Ecuador. At only eighteen years of age he co-wrote Los que se van, cuentos del cholo y del motuvio (1930) with Demetrio Aguilera Malta and Joaquín Gallegos Lara – a book which marked the beginning of literary realism in Ecuador.

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José de la Cuadra

José de la Cuadra Vargas (September 3, 1903 – February 27, 1941) is considered one of Ecuador’s greatest authors. De la Cuadra was a social realist novelist who wrote the short story La Tigra (1932) and the novel Los Sangurimas (1939). He was a part of the “Guayaquil Group,” a group of young social protest novelists from Guayaquil, Ecuador, in the 1930s, which included Enrique Gil Gilbert, Demetrio Aguilera Malta, Joaqun Gallegos Lara, and Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco.

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Jorge Icaza

Jorge Icaza Coronel (Quito, June 10, 1906 – Quito, May 26, 1978) was a novelist, playwright, diplomat and bookstore owner. He was and continues to be Ecuador’s most famous writer, as well as one of South America’s most important literary figures of the twentieth century. Huasipungo (1934), Icaza’s novel about the exploitation of his country’s indigenous peoples by whites, has been translated into over 40 languages, including English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Chinese, and Russian. El Chulla Romero y Flores (1958), Icaza’s penultimate novel, is concerned with the cultural identity of the Ecuadorian mestizo and is regarded as his best by many Icazan scholars and critics. It has been translated into more than 20 different languages.

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The Chulla Romero y Flores (1958 Novel) by Jorge Icaza – An English Translation

by Jorge Icaza (1906-1978)

Translated from the Spanish by Richard Gabela

Several times a day Don Ernesto Morejón Galindo, the Chief-Director of the Bureau of Economic Investigation, abandoned his small office to monitor the attendance of the employees in his charge. Don Ernesto was a man of irregular character. Completely irregular. When he was in good spirits, he exaggerated his qualities of a Don Juan, slipping through the libidinous confidences of a vegetable-market chola or a newly arrived chagra. With graphic and pornographic gesticulations of sexual possession, he would murmur into the ear of his newest confidant: “What a night of revelry, my dear cholo. I had myself three women. Two turned out to be virgins.… Hee-hee-hee…All for free.” But if he had to publicly reprimand his henchmen—an epithet of intimate nature by which he referred to his subordinates —he swelled with omnipotence and meted out threats without concert or order. At such moments—when his domineering arrogance exploded—everything grotesque about his adipose face was underscored—his cheeks like rosy buttocks, his trembling clay lips, the bilious drool between his teeth, the diabolic flame in his pupils.

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