Edmundo Paz Soldán

Edmundo Paz Soldán

  • Bolivia

José Edmundo Paz Soldán Ávila is a Bolivian writer. He was born in Cochabamba in 1967. Paz Soldán is one of the most representative authors of the Latin American generation of the 90s, known as McOndo. He is the author of ten novels, among them The Matter of Desire (2001), Turing’s Delirium (2003), and Norte: A Novel (2011); as well as ten collections of short stories. He has also co-edited Se habla español (2000) and Bolaño salvaje (2008). Paz Soldán studied at Don Bosco College in Cochabamba. He began his writing career when he was nineteen, in Buenos Aires, where he studied international relations. However, his first publications – written still as a hobby – appeared in his native Cochabamba in his school years, in the Correo Supplement of the newspaper Los Tiempos. He studied political science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he entered on a soccer player scholarship and graduated in 1991. His first compilation of short stories, titled The Masks of Nothingness (1991), has appeared in Cochabamba a year before his graduation. In 1992 he published his first novel, Días de papel (Paper Days), which had been a finalist in the American literary contest of literary works in Spanish, Letras de Oro in 1991, and won him his first award: the Bolivian Erich Guttentag Prize. In 1997, Paz Soldán received the Juan Rulfo Award for his short story “Dochera.” The same year, he completed his Ph.D. in languages and Hispanic literature from Berkeley (his dissertation was on the life and work of Alcides Arguedas; this investigation developed into a full-length book published in 2003). In 1998, he received the Romulo Gallegos Award for the novel Río fugitivo , and in 2002 he received the Bolivian National Prize for the novel Turing’s Delirium. In 2011, he presided the first-ever Las Americas Award, which was given to Chilean writer Arturo Fontaine Talavera. In 2014, he wrote his first science fiction book, Iris, which he began writing while reading a report in Rolling Stone magazine about mental issures of soldiers in Afghanistan. Although Iris was published as a sci-fi novel, it was initially conceived as the last part of a trilogy, beginning with Los vivos y los muertos (The Living and the Dead) (2009) and Norte: A Novel (Hammett Award finalist, 2012). His book Las visiones was a finalist for the IV Short Story Prize Ribera del Duero in 2015. Paz Soldán is a columnist on cultural and political issues in the Chilean newspaper La Tercera. He has also written for El País, Time, and The New York Times. He has translated several works from English, among them Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare and Bodega Dreams (2000) by the American-Ecuadorian writer Ernesto Quiñonez. Paz Soldán’s works have been translated into several languages and have appeared in anthologies in different countries, both in Europe and America. Since 1991, he lives in the United States, where he teaches Latin American Literature at Cornell University.


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