The President by Miguel Angel Asturias

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Synopsis

Winner! Nobel Prize for Literature. Guatemalan diplomat and writer Miguel Angel Asturias (1899-1974) began this award-winning work while still a law student. It is a story of ruthless dictator and his schemes to dispose of a political adversary in an unnamed Latin American country usually identified as Guatemala. The book has been acclaimed for portraying both a totalitarian government and its damaging psychological effects. Drawing from his experiences as a journalist writing under repressive conditions, Asturias employs such literary devices as satire to convey the government's transgressions and surrealistic dream sequences to demonstrate the police state's impact on the individual psyche. Asturias's stance against all forms of injustice in Guatemala caused critics to view the author as a compassionate spokesperson for the oppressed. "My work," Asturias promised when he accepted the Nobel Prize, "will continue to reflect the voice of the people, gathering their myths and popular beliefs and at the same time seeking to give birth to a universal consciousness of Latin American problems."
 

About Miguel Angel Asturias

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Novelist, playwright, poet, translator, and diplomat, Miguel Asturias received the Nobel Prize for what was considered highly colored writing rooted in national individuality and Indian tradition. His first novel, El Senor Presidente, a fictional account of the period of violence and human degradation under the Guatemalan dictator Estrada Cabrera, was completed in 1932 but not published until 1946 for political reasons. It was pioneering in its use of surrealistic structures and Indian myth as integrated parts of the novel's structure. Mulata (1963) uses a Guatemalan version of the legend of Faust as a point of departure for Asturias's inventive use of Indian myth. In 1966, Asturias received the Lenin Peace Prize for writings that expose American intervention against the Guatemalan people. Following the 1954 uprising, Asturias was deprived of his citizenship by the new government and lived in exile for eight years. After the election of President Julio Cesar Mendez Montenegro in 1967, he was restored to his country's diplomatic services as ambassador to Paris and continued to publish.
 
Published January 1, 1972 by PENGUIN BOOKS LTD. 288 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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