Gastón Suárez

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Gastón Suárez
Born (1929-01-27)January 27, 1929
Tupiza, Bolivia
Died November 6, 1984(1984-11-06)
La Paz, Bolivia

Gastón Suárez (born January 27, 1929 – November 6, 1984) was a Bolivian novelist and dramatist. Suárez was born in the town of Tupiza in the southern part of Potosí, Bolivia.

A self-taught writer, Suárez performed diverse activities: railroader, rural teacher, miner, bank employee, truck driver, journalist, etc. He had the opportunity to live and feel the Bolivian life in its diverse social layers. This is reflected with a particular vision in the subjects he writes most about: urban life, the country and the mines.

His first work was a story book titled Vigilia para el último viaje, from which "Iluminado" (Illuminated) was extracted to be included in several anthologies of Latin American writers, as a remarkable example of brief narration.

Amongst his works also stands out El Gesto another book of short stories from which "El forastero y el candelabro de plata" and "El diario de Mafalda" are the most outstanding.

In 1967, Suárez published his first piece for theatre, Vértigo, a drama of social and philosophical depth that depicts the life of a man being freed after twenty years in prison and his efforts to gather his seven children who have all taken different paths in life. Vertigo was screenplayed and presented in Jornadas Julianas de la Juventud in 1967, winning the first prize.

His most famous novel is Mallko, published in 1974. It narrates the life of a humanized Condor ("a Mallko" as it is named in the Amerindian language Aymara). The novel has elements of fiction and magic realism, but ends up being much more than that. It is at the same time a vivid, real and crude narration of the life of the Andean man. It is a philosophical reflection on the man's faith of meeting his own destiny and the need to survive in isolation and constant need. It is virtually a compulsory text in Bolivia, Spain and in the signatory countries of the Andean Zone. In 1976 Mallko was included in the Honour List of the Hans Christian Andersen Award and described as "an exceptional example of literature with international importance".

In 1979, the International Year of the Child, he published another novel Las aventuras de Miguelín Quijano, in which he works with metaphors and references with respect to the quixotic characters to obtain a beautiful parable that ignites the creative imagination of the children and incites their interest for the immortal book of Miguel de Cervantes.

Suárez died in the city of La Paz in November 1984, the victim of a sudden heart failure.


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