Juan Álvarez (writer)
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Juan Álvarez (born 1978) is a Colombian writer, author of Falsas Alarmas, a book of short stories awarded the National Prize for Short-Stories “City of Bogotá” in 2005. He was selected for two anthologies of Colombian short stories: Señales de ruta (Arango Editores) and El corazón habitado (Algaida). In 2011 he published his first novel C. M. no record (Alfaguara) based on the underground musical life of Bogotá and Medellín rock and roll scene.
Álvarez started his career at the prestigious Writer’s Workshop at the Universidad Central (Bogotá). In 2002 he moved to the US-Mexican border, where he earned his M.F.A from the University of Texas at El Paso. He was one of the guest writers selected to attend the first Hay Festival held in Latin America in 2006 in Cartagena de Indias. In 2008 he participated of the First Meeting of Young Latin American Fiction Writers in Havana. He has published short-stories, interviews, and essays in literary journals and magazines such us El Malpensante, Número, Etiqueta Negra, Donjuan, Letralia, and the Rio Grande Review. He is the co-editor of the Hidalgo (Mexico) based literary journal, El perro and manages the DUD project (Drogas/Urtak/Drugs:), a digital platform for the construction of participative public opinion about drugs.
Several Colombian critics have remarked Álvarez’s use of language in Falsas alarmas as an evidence of a “young writer who knows his craft, and has talent and appreciation for the written word” (Guido Tamayo) and of a style “without pretensions” (Francisco Barrios). Others have insisted in the desolated universe of these short stories, populated mainly by young people “not marked by exotic adventures (...) but by the daily discovery of their absolute solitude” (Diana Ospina).