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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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Jennie Carrasco Molina

Jennie Carrasco Molina (Ambato, 1955) is an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, poet, journalist, editor, university professor and holistic therapist. She has worked with the press and on women’s issues. Her works include the short story book “La diosa en el espejo” (1995), poetry book “Arañas en mi vestido de seda” (2001), and novel “Viaje a ninguna parte” (2004). In 2011 her poetry book “Confesiones apocalípticas” won the prestigious Jorge Carrera Andrade Prize. Some of her poems have been translated into English.

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Enrique Ayala Mora

Enrique Ayala Mora (Ibarra, November 13, 1950) is an Ecuadorian historian, essayist, editor, university professor and politician. He works as a professor at the Central University of Ecuador and the Simón Bolívar Andean University. He was a deputy of Ecuador, vice president of the National Congress and member of the Constituent Assembly (1997-1998). He is currently the President of the Ecuadorian Socialist Party. As an editor and writer, he has published over 30 works of history and politics.

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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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Camila Peña

Camila Peña (Cuenca, 1995) is an Ecuadorian poet, radio host and ballet dancer. In 2020 her first poetry book “Jardín Transparente,” won the Francisco Ruiz Udiel Hispanic American Poetry Award and will be published by Valparaíso Ediciones. She has a master’s degree in Artistic, Literary and Cultural Studies with a specialty in Comparative Literature, Literary Theory and Rhetoric from the Autonomous University of Madrid. In addition, she is a ballet dancer with 19 years of training and experience in creating artistic projects. She is currently the host of a cultural program on a radio station in Cuenca.

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Carlett Decker Santistevan

Carlett Miroslava Decker Santistevan (Guayaquil, 1996) is an Ecuadorian writer, screenwriter, filmmaker and director. She has a degree in Cinema from the University of the Arts with a mention in directing and screenwriting. Her short stories have been published in online magazines such as Letralia and Extrañas Noches.

Jorge Tigrero Vaca

Jorge William Tigrero Vaca (Guayaquil, 1986) is an Ecuadorian poet, writer, journalist and university professor. He has published books of poetry, short stories and essays on pedagogy. He is a member of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI), an international governmental body for cooperation between Latin American countries in the field of education, science, technology and culture. He is also a member of the Global Network of Writers in Spanish (REMES). Tigrero works as a professor at the Casa Grande University, ECOTEC University and University of the Arts.

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Roberto Andrade

Roberto Andrade Rodríguez (October 26, 1850 – October 27, 1938) was a politician, historian, writer and polemicist. He was part of the conspiracy to assassinate President Gabriel Garcia Moreno. On August 6, 1875, Garcia Moreno was assaulted with several blows of a machete, while three or four others fired their revolvers on him. Andrade shot him on his forehead. For his polemicist essays and political ideology he suffered constant persecution throughout his life. His semi autobiographical novel “Pacho Villamar” (1910) is regarded as Ecuador’s first political novel.

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Carlos Vásconez

Carlos Francisco Vásconez Gomezcoello (Cuenca, May 16, 1977) is an Ecuadorian novelist, short story writer, essayist, columnist and educator who has published short stories and novels since 1999. He is the president of the PEN Center Ecuador and was the president of the Azuay branch of the House of Ecuadorian Culture from 2011-2016. He is the vice-rector and a teacher at Las Pencas Educational Unit in Cuenca, Ecuador. He is also a professor at the School of Language and Literature at the University of Cuenca. He is the director of the newspaper La columna del invertebrado and is part of the Editorial Board of the cultural magazine Arrebol. He has been a columnist for several magazines and newspapers, such as Rocinante, Diners, BG Magazine, Cartón Piedra and La Casa. He has prefaced several anthologies of Ecuadorian short stories and poetry.

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Rommel Manosalvas

Rommel Manosalvas (Quito, circa 1993) is an Ecuadorian writer, booktuber and architect. In 2019 his short story “Disforia” was published in the anthology “Los que vendrán 20-20” by the publisher Cactus Pink. In 2020 he won the second “Writing World Cup” for his short story “Abuelita,” beating 5400 participants in 42 nations. As a booktuber he creates videos about literature for his YouTube channel. He is currently working on his first novel.

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Carlos A. Rolando

Carlos Alberto Rolando Lobatón (Guayaquil, September 13, 1881 – Guayaquil, January 5, 1974) was a doctor, writer and bibliographer. In 1925 Rolando was appointed director of the library at the University of Guayaquil and also became a numerary member of the National Academy of History. In 1930 he founded the Guayaquil Historical Research Center. The National Authors Room of the Municipal Library of Guayaquil bears his name.

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Patricio Rivadeneira Arandi

Patricio Rivadeneira Arandi (Quito, 1953) is an Ecuadorian poet and holistic doctor. He has published several short essays about health with titles such as “Supresión y metástasis mórbida,” “Contrarios complementarios y dinamismo miasmático,” and “Nuevas perspectivas en la alimentación.” In 2016 the House of Ecuadorian Culture published his first poetry book, “Momento,” a selection of 70 of his poems.

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Vicente Rocafuerte

Vicente Rocafuerte Bejarano (Guayaquil, May 1, 1783 – Lima, Peru, May 16, 1847) was an independence leader, statesman, diplomat, politician and writer. He was born into wealth and was educated in Spain. He returned to Ecuador in 1807 and was instrumental in freeing the country from Spain and, subsequently, from Gran Colombia. He served in the National Congress, as governor of Guayas Province, and as the second president of Ecuador (from 1834 to 1839). Rocafuerte’s writings on political systems, social reform, religious toleration, and economic development had significant influence on liberals in several Spanish American nations. Several schools and various awards are named after him, and many statues throughout Ecuador stand in his honor.

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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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Fernando Jurado Noboa

Fernando Jurado Noboa (Quito, 1944) is an Ecuadorian psychiatrist, historian, biographer, essayist and genealogist. Between 1967 and 1975, he studied medicine at the Central University of Ecuador, and from 1976-1979 he studied psychiatry in Spain. In 1973 he became the youngest member of the Ecuadorian Academy of History. He has been one of the most prolific historic researchers in Ecuador and he has published a large number of works. He has authored more than 50 books and 500 articles in historical and medical journals. He founded Ceniga in Quito (1980) and Sociedad Amigos de la Genealogía (1983).

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