José Paul Aguilar (Quito, 1965) is an Ecuadorian author, architect, and musician who began his writing career as a poet. He began writing at the age of fifteen, with his first poetry book published at twenty-two. Two of his notable works include “TŪTUM,” a compilation of poems and stories, and “Canciones de Otoño,” a collection of poems written since 1982. In 2023, he released his debut novel, “Un sol se me escondió” (A Sun Hid From Me). The novel received a warm reception and was showcased at the Madrid Book Fair. Interestingly, Aguilar is a descendent of Juan Montalvo, a renowned Latin American writer, which has been a significant source of inspiration for him.
Background and Personal Life
Born in 1965 in Quito, Ecuador, José Paul Aguilar is a man of many talents. As a highly accomplished individual, he has been an architect, a musician, and an author. He started his writing journey at the tender age of fifteen and embarked on his musical path relatively recently. Aside from his professional pursuits, Aguilar also enjoys meaningful conversations with cultured individuals. Aguilar has experienced the pain of losing a spouse and the joy of finding love again. His family comprises his second wife, three daughters, and two grandchildren.
Aguilar’s Early Works and Poetry
Before venturing into the realm of fiction, Aguilar was known for his evocative and insightful poems. He has published 2 poetic works, including “TŪTUM” and “Canciones de Otoño”. “TŪTUM,” derived from the Latin word meaning “safe,” is a compilation of poems and stories touching on life, death, love, and disappointment, encapsulating the myriad emotions that one experiences in life. On the other hand, “Canciones de Otoño” is a collection of poems reflecting Aguilar’s love for the city and life, characterized by their smooth and fluid narrative.
Transition into Fiction with “Un sol se me escondió”
Venturing into fiction, Aguilar’s debut novel, “Un sol se me escondió,” has been well received by readers, contributing to his growing fame in the literary world. The novel, developed in two distant moments in Ecuador’s recent history – the 1980s and 2017, tells the story of a group of guerrillas following the kidnapping of a powerful banker in 1985. Based on true events, the novel maintains a connection to his personal experiences, as many of the characters in his book were close friends and schoolmates of his. Aguilar is working on his second novel, which will also be historical in nature.
Writing Style and Evolution
Aguilar’s background in poetry significantly influences his fiction writing style. His belief that good writers should have their roots in poetry is reflected in his prose. His descriptions are filled with poetic undertones that lend an aesthetic appeal to his narrative. Despite the serious themes tackled in his works, Aguilar imbues his stories with a sense of romance, demonstrating his unique style. Throughout his writing journey, Aguilar believes in the importance of perspective and always encourages feedback from others, a trait which has greatly contributed to his evolution as a writer.
Following the success of his debut novel, Aguilar has plans to continue exploring the field of historical fiction. There are also plans to adapt “Un sol se me escondió” for the big screen. Aguilar’s artistic vision and unique voice promise exciting future endeavors in the literary and cinematic realms. As a passionate author, Aguilar hopes his works will educate his readers about history and inspire them to act for societal and planetary betterment.
José Paúl Aguilar’s Architectural Career
José Paúl Aguilar has been a prominent figure in the world of architecture since his graduation from the Central University of Ecuador in 1989. His educational journey was further enriched by supplementary studies in Chile, Spain, and the United States. A self-sufficient professional, Aguilar has dedicated his life to design, construction, and research.
He founded Ábaco Arquitectos in 1992 and represented the Spanish firm Hábitat in Ecuador until April 2006. The firm has successfully developed over 50,000 homes in various countries such as Spain, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Poland, and Hungary. He also represented the North American firm A&A until 2006 and served as the technical director for the Spanish firm Barcelona Housing Systems for Ecuador and Central America until 2017.
Aguilar’s influence extends to academia. He taught Architectural Design and History of Architecture and Art at the Pontifical Catholic University of Quito from 1995 to 2001 and Methodologies of Research at the Universidad de las Américas UDLA in 2013. His expertise and knowledge have also led him to participate as a guest lecturer at numerous national and international conferences on design and rehabilitation.
Aguilar’s distinguished contributions have been recognized with several awards. He received the first prize “La Huella de Europa” convened by the European Union for his studies on Quito’s architecture and a National Honor Mention at the Pan American Biennial of Quito for his book “Quito, Architecture and Modernity, 1850-1950”. He has also received awards at the Quito Architecture Biennial and the first International Architecture and Engineering Salon in Havana, Cuba for the Master Plan for the Rehabilitation of the Historic Areas of Quito, a collaboration with various professionals.
In his career, Aguilar has served as a consultant for the Planning Department of the Municipality of Quito and the Center for Appropriate Technologies of the Ecuadorian Habitat Foundation (Funhabit). Beyond his architectural projects and teachings, he has contributed to various publications on architectural themes and has authored numerous articles in different magazines.
- Canciones de Otoño
- Un sol se me escondió (2023)
- Quito: Arquitectura Y Modernidad 1850 – 1950 (Museo Municipal Alberto Mena Caamano, 1995)