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.
Along with prose writers Enrique Gil Gilbert, Demetrio Aguilera Malta, Joaquín Gallegos Lara and Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco, José de la Cuadra was a member of the “Guayaquil Group,” a circle of young social protest novelists from Ecuador’s coastal city of Guayaquil in the 1930s.
The Guayaquil Group “took the side of the exploited—the Indians, montuvios, blacks, mulattoes, Cholos, peasants, and workers—and attacked the exploiters—the elite, the overseers, the priests, and the local police.”(from Encyclopedia.com)
Other contemporaries include the poets Medardo Ángel Silva and José María Egas, with whom he contributed to many of the same magazines of the time.
José de la Cuadra died of a massive brain hemorrhage on February 27, 1941 at the age of 37.
Works made into films:
La Tigra – Trailer (1990)
José de la Cuadra’s short story La Tigra was made into a film of the same name in 1990. It was directed by Camilo Luzuriaga.
Los Sangurimas – Full movie (1998)
José de la Cuadra’s novel Los Sangurimas was made into a film of the same name in 1998. It was directed by Carl West.
List of works
- Olga Catalina (Id. Id., 1925)
- El sabor de la locura (Id. Id., 1925)
- Perlita Lila (Id. Id., 1925)
- Oro de sol (Guayaquil: El Telégrafo, 1925)
- Horno (Guayaquil: Talleres de la Sociedad Filantrópica, 1932), read it for free here.
- Sueño de una noche de Navidad (Guayaquil: Artes Gráficas Senefelder, 1930)
- Repisas (Guayaquil: Artes Gráficas Senefelder, 1931), read it for free here.
- El amor que dormía (1930), read it for free here.
- Madrecita falsa (1923)
- La vuelta de la locura (Madrid: Revista Literaria Novelas y Cuentos, 1932)
- Guásinton: relatos y crónicas (Quito: Talleres Gráficos de Educación, 1938)
- Los Sangurimas (Madrid: Cenit, 1934)
- 12 siluetas (Quito: Ed. América, 1934)
- El montuvio ecuatoriano (Buenos Aires: Imán, 1937)
- Obras Completas de José de la Cuadra (Quito: Casa de la Cultura, 1958)
- Los monos enloquecidos (Quito: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 1951)