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. Together with José Alfredo Llerena and Arturo Meneses, his schoolmates from the Mejía National Institute, he founded the magazine Surcos in 1928. After graduating from high school in 1932, he published a 100-page novel entitled, “Ghismondo,” with stories about his life as a student. He also wrote another novel entitled “Saloya” (1962), a short story book entitled “Los murmullos de Dios” (1959), and the theatrical dramas Los Caminos Blancos” (1939), “En el horizonte se alzó la niebla,” (1961), and “El huasipungo de Andrés Chiliquinga” (1981). Perhaps his most important work is his six-volume “Historia crítica del teatro ecuatoriano” (1968). Among his translations is a book entitled Poemas (1969), a French-to-Spanish translation of Jean Poilvet Le Guenn’s poems. In 1968 the municipality of Quito awarded him the Tobar Prize. He was a member of the House of Ecuadorian Culture and the National Academy of History, as well as vice president of the Bolivarian Society of Quito.

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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 is considered one of Ecuador’s greatest writers. He was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador on September 3, 1903 and died in the same city on February 27, 1941. De la Cuadra was a social realist writer whose notable works include the short story La Tigra (1932) and the novel Los Sangurimas (1934). He was part of the “Guayaquil Group” of the 1930s, which comprised such writers as Enrique Gil Gilbert, Demetrio Aguilera Malta, Joaquín 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 is Ecuador’s most famous writer and one of South America’s most important literary figures of the 20th century. Icaza’s novel Huasipungo (1934), about the exploitation of his country’s indigenous by its whites, has been translated into over 40 languages, including English, Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Chinese and Russian. Icaza’s penultimate novel El Chulla Romero y Flores (1958), was concerned with the cultural identity of the Ecuadorian mestizo, and is regarded by many Icazan scholars and critics as his best novel. It has been translated into over 20 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 unbalanced character. Completely unbalanced. 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 chagra newly arrived from the countryside. With graphic and pornographic gesticulations of sexual possession, he would murmur into the ear of his next 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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