Miguel Ángel Asturias (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Nobel Prize–winning Guatemalan poet, novelist, and diplomat. Asturias helped establish Latin American literature's contribution to mainstream Western culture, and at the same time drew attention to the importance of indigenous cultures, especially those of his native Guatemala.
Asturias' masterpiece, Hombres de maíz (Men of Maize), is a defence of Mayan culture and customs. His novel, El Señor Presidente, describes life under a ruthless dictator modeled in part on President of Guatemala Manuel Estrada Cabrera. Asturias' dissidence led to exile in South America and Europe.
In 1966, Asturias won the Soviet Union's Lenin Peace Prize. The following year he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, only the second Latin American to receive this honor. Asturias spent his final years in Madrid, where he died at the age of 74. He is buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.