Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal

Author: Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal

Profile: Gustavo Álvarez Gardeazábal is a Colombian writer and politician. He is born in Tulua, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. He has received the B.A. degree in 1970 from the University of Valle. He has studied chemical engineering at Medellin’s Universidad Pontificia. In 1971 he was the runner-up for a Premio Nadal for Dabeiba. The highly rated telenovela El Bazar de los Idiotas has also been written by him. In Colombia he is one amongst the few atheists who has held public office.

He was debared from the university in 1963 after he published sections of Piedra pintada, his first novel (1965). After this he came back to Valle and continued to write fiction. Gustavo Álvarez Gardeazábal has also taught at the Universidad del Valle (Cali) and in 1978 was elected to the municipal councils of Tulua and Cali. In Valle he is well known as a major writer and has been winner of a number of awards.

In 1997 he was elected as Governor of Valle del Cauca. Later on, he was accused of corruption in 1999 and sentenced to prison for a period of six and a half years. However fairness of legal proceedings against him was very much doubted by his wellwishers and supporters. According to Alvarez, the U.S.Embassy’s and Horacio Serpa’s presidential campaign had ‘orchestrated’ his case.

Writing style: Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal’s genre is literature and fiction. The main theme of his work remained the ‘VIolencia’ in Valle however after the year 1977, he wrote about the opposition to the Gran Cauca elite and also about other currents.

Published Texts:

1971 – La tara del papa

1972 – Condores no entierran todos los dias

1973 – Dabeiba

1974 – El bazaar de los idiotas

1977 – El titiritero

1981 – Los mios

1991 – Los sordos ya no hablan

2000 – Prisionero de la esperanza

2002 – Comandante Paraiso

Awards and Acknowledgements:

1984 – Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship

1998-1999 – Was Governor of Valle del Cauca Department


1977 – Aproximaciones a Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal

1991– The Colombian Novel (1844-1987)

1992 – Handbook of Latin American Literature

Additional Bibliography

2003 – Gonzalez Rodas, Pablo. Colombia: Novella y violencia. Manizales, Colombia: Secretaria de Cultura de Caldas

2005 – Tittler, Jonathan. El verbo y el mando: Vida y milagros de Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal. Tulua, Colombia: Unidade Central del Valle /Colleccion CantaRana

1997 – Zambrano,Jaime. La violencia en Colombia: La ficcion de Alvarez Gardeazavbal y el discurso historic. New York: P Lang

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