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Augusto Monterroso

Prince of Asturias Award for Literature 2000

Augusto Monterroso (Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 1921 – Mexico, 2003) is considered one of the 20th century greatest and most original Latin-American writers of tales and short stories. He has been of professor of Literature at the Faculty of Arts of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He lived in Mexico from 1944 to April 1996 in a self-imposed political exile, and was also the editor of the General Department for Publications.

Exsecretary of Pablo Neruda's magazine "La Gaceta de Chile", a member of the International Pen Club and of the Mexican Writers Association, "One in three and the centenary", "The Black Sheep and other Fables", "Animals and Men", "Perpetual Motion" and "Journey to the centre of the Fable" - some of which have been translated into several languages - along with the novel "All the rest is silence" are all amongst his most outstanding works. (His tales are the nicest in the world, according to Italo Calvino). In 1999 he published his latest book - "The Cow" - in Spain, which he himself defined as a collection of "essays that seem to be tales, and tales that seem to be essays". He is considered to be the author of the shortest story in the history of Literature; it reads as follows "The dinosaur: When it woke up, the dinosaur was still there".

He was man of the year in Literature for the Spanish weekly Cambio 16 in 1991, for being "an extremely original author who follows the rule of communicating the maximum with the minimum of resources". He is doctor honoris causa at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala and is a member of the Academy of the Language of Honduras. Monterroso has been given many awards and distinctions, such as the Magda Donato and the Xavier Villaurrutia awards in Mexico, the Italian Latin-American Institute of Rome, the Juan Rulfo award for Latin-American Literature 1996 and the National Literature Award of Guatemala (1997), amongst others.

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