Eugenia Viteri

Eugenia Viteri

Blanca Eugenia Viteri Segura (Guayaquil, July 4, 1928) is an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, anthologist, women’s rights activist, and teacher. Viteri has published over a dozen books including novels, short story collections, and anthologies. Her work has been translated into English, Russian, and Bulgarian. She has been a member of the House of Ecuadorian Culture since 1962. She founded the Manuela Sáenz Cultural Foundation in 1983. Through her work with the foundation, Viteri became one of the most important defenders of women’s rights in Ecuador. In 2008, President Rafael Correa honored her with the Rosa Campuzano National Prize. She was among the first to receive the newly created award, which recognizes the work of noteworthy Ecuadorian women.

Family

Eugenia Viteri’s father was Ignacio Viteri Urquiza, an accountant, and her mother was María Tomasa Segura Leó, who worked in a button factory. She gave birth to her only daughter, Silvia Alexandra Vera, in Quito in 1957. She married fellow communist and writer Pedro Jorge Vera in 1964.

Exile

Viteri openly sympathized with Marxist ideas, so when the military dictatorship took control in 1963, she was forced to self-exile with her daughter in Chile, bringing only the money she could scrounge up through selling her furniture. There, she married Pedro Jorge Vera, an influential Ecuadorian communist and a close friend of Fidel Castro, in 1964. The couple moved to Cuba on Castro’s invitation in 1965. After the military regime fell in 1966, the new Ecuadorian president Clemente Yerovi invited the couple to return to their homeland.

Awards and recognition

  • 1954: Second Prize in a competition of the Women’s Culture Club (Club Femenino de Cultura) for her short story “El Heredero.”
  • 1954: She participated in the Jurisprudence Department’s Festival of Letters with two stories titled “El anillo” and “El Chiquillo,” which were subsequently included in the 1955 anthology Diez cuentos universitarios.
  • 1962: She won fourth prize in a theater competition organized by the National Union of Journalists with her play “El Mar trajo la flor,” based on her prior story “El anillo.”
  • 2008: President Rafael Correa honored her with the Rosa Campuzano National Prize.

Works

Novels

  • A noventa millas solamente (Quito, 1969)
  • Las alcobas negras (Quito, 1983)

Stories

  • El anillo y otros cuentos (Quito, 1955)
  • Doce cuentos (Quito, 1962)
  • Los zapatos y los sueños (Guayaquil, 1977)
  • Cuentos escogidos (Quito, 1983)

Anthologies

Viteri has helped produce the following anthologies:

  • El nuevo relato ecuatoriano (Quito, 1951)
  • 10 cuentos universitarios (Guayaquil, 1953)
  • Cuento ecuatoriano contemporáneo (Guayaquil)
  • Lectura y lenguaje, (1978)
  • Diez escritoras ecuatorianas y sus cuentos (Guayaquil, 1982)
  • AMORica Latina (1991)
  • Así en la tierra como en los sueños (Quito, 1991)
  • Cuento contigo (Guayaquil, 1993)
  • Antología de narradoras ecuatorianas (Quito, 1997)
  • 40 cuentos ecuatorianos (Guayaquil, 1997)

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