Augusto Monterroso

Augusto Monterroso Bonilla (December 21, 1921 - February 7, 2003) was a Honduran writer who adopted Guatemalan nationality, known for the ironical and humorous style of his short stories. He is considered an important figure in the Latin American "Boom" generation, and received several awards, including the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature (2000), Miguel Ángel Asturias National Prize in Literature (1997), and Juan Rulfo Award (1996).[1]

Augusto Monterroso
BornDecember 21, 1921
DiedFebruary 7, 2003 (aged 81)
Mexico City
OccupationShort story writer, editor, diplomat
Period1941 - 2002
Literary movementGeneración del Cuarenta, "Boom" generation
Notable awardsPremio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras

Premio Nacional de Literatura Miguel Angel Asturias
Premio Juan Rulfo

Premio Xavier Villaurrutia
SpouseBárbara Jacobs


Monterroso was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to a Honduran mother and Guatemalan father. In 1936 his family settled definitively in Guatemala City, where he would remain until early adulthood. Here he published his first short stories and began his clandestine work against the dictatorship of Jorge Ubico. To this end he founded the newspaper El Espectador with a group of other writers.

He was detained and exiled to Mexico City in 1944 for his opposition to the dictatorial regime. Shortly after his arrival in Mexico, the revolutionary government of Jacobo Arbenz triumphed in Guatemala, and Monterroso was assigned to a minor post in the Guatemalan embassy in Mexico. In 1953 he moved briefly to Bolivia upon being named Guatemalan consul in La Paz. He relocated to Santiago de Chile in 1954, when Arbenz's government was toppled with help from an American intervention.

In 1956 he returned definitively to Mexico City, where he would occupy various academic and editorial posts and continue his work as a writer for the rest of his life.[2]

In 1988, Augusto Monterroso received the highest honour the Mexican government can bestow on foreign dignitaries, the Águila Azteca. He was also awarded the Spanish Prince of Asturias Award, in 2000. In 1997, Monterroso was awarded the Guatemala National Prize in Literature for his body of work.

He died due to heart failure at the age of 81, in Mexico City.[3]


Although Monterroso limited himself almost exclusively to the short story form, he is widely considered a central figure in the Latin American "Boom" generation, which was best known for its novelists. As such he is recognized alongside such canonical authors as Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo and Gabriel García Márquez.

Save for Lo demás es silencio ("The Rest is Silence"), his foray into the form of the novel, Monterroso only published short pieces. He worked throughout his career to perfect the short story form, often delving into analogous genres (most famously the fable) for stylistic and thematic inspiration. Even Lo demás es silencio, however, largely eschews the traditional novelistic form, opting instead for the loose aggregation of various apocryphal short texts (newspaper clippings, testimonials, diary entries, poems) to sketch the "biography" of its fictional main character.

Monterroso was the author of what is often credited to be one of the world's shortest stories, "El Dinosaurio" ("The Dinosaur"), published in Obras completas (Y otros cuentos). The story reads, in its entirety:

Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.
("When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.")

Carlos Fuentes wrote of Monterroso (referring specifically to The Black Sheep and Other Fables): "Imagine Borges' fantastical bestiary having tea with Alice. Imagine Jonathan Swift and James Thurber exchanging notes. Imagine a frog from Calaveras County who has seriously read Mark Twain. Meet Monterroso."[4]


  • Obras completas (Y otros cuentos), 1959.
    • (trans. Complete Works and Other Stories)
  • La oveja negra y demás fábulas, 1969.
    • (trans. The Black Sheep and Other Fables: Tadworth: Acorn, 2005 (translated from the Spanish by Rupert Glasgow and Philip Jenkins))
  • Movimiento perpetuo, 1972.
    • (trans. Perpetual Motion)
  • Lo demás es silencio (La vida y obra de Eduardo Torres), 1978.
  • Viaje al centro de la fábula, 1981.
  • La palabra mágica, 1983.
  • La letra e (Fragmentos de un diario), 1987.
  • Esa fauna, 1992. drawings.
  • Los buscadores de oro, 1993.
  • La vaca, 1998.
  • El eclipse, 1958.


  1. ^ Augusto Monterroso Bonilla. Juchimanes de Plata Archived October 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ CVC. Augusto Monterroso
  3. ^ "Recordando a Augusto Monterroso". Proceso, 11 February 2003.
  4. ^ The Black Sheep and Other Fables, trans. Walter I. Bradbury, New York, Doubleday, 1971.

External links


Augusto may be a given name, or a Portuguese and Spanish surname. Notable people with the name include:

Augusto Aníbal

Augusto dos Anjos

Augusto Arbizo

Augusto Barbera (born 1938), Italian law professor, politician and judge

Augusto Benedico

Augusto Boal

Augusto de Campos

Augusto César Sandino

Augusto Fantozzi

Augusto Genina

Augusto B. Leguía

Augusto Monterroso

Augusto Odone, Italian economist who invented Lorenzo's oil

Augusto Pestana (1868-1934)

Augusto Pinochet

Augusto Righi

Augusto Roa Bastos

Augusto Silj

Augusto Vargas Alzamora

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Augusto Fernández, Argentine footballer

Augusto Franqui, Cuban baseball player

Augusto Inácio, Portuguese footballer

Augusto Oliveira da Silva Brazilian footballer

Luís Augusto Osório Romão (1983) Brazilian footballer

César Augusto Ramírez, Paraguayan footballer

José Augusto de Almeida, Portuguese footballer

José Augusto Torres, Portuguese footballer

Renato Soares de Oliveira Augusto (1988) Brazilian footballer

Zé Augusto, Portuguese footballerOtherEstádio Augusto Bauer, a football (soccer) stadium located in Brusque, BrazilCompaniesAugusto Digital, a software design and development company headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, USA.

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Bárbara Jacobs (born 19 October 1947) is a Mexican writer, poet, essayist and translator.

Edith Grossman

Edith Grossman (born March 22, 1936) is an American Spanish-to-English literary translator. One of the most important contemporary translators of Latin American and Spanish literature, she has translated the works of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, Mayra Montero, Augusto Monterroso, Jaime Manrique, Julián Ríos, Álvaro Mutis, and Miguel de Cervantes. She is a recipient of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation.

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Guatemalan literature is literature written by Guatemalan authors, whether in the indigenous languages present in the country or in Spanish. Though there was likely literature in Guatemala before the arrival of the Spanish, all the texts that exist today were written after their arrival.

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Juan Villoro (Mexico City, 8 September 1956) is a Mexican writer and journalist. Son of philosopher Luis Villoro. He has been well known among intellectual circles in Mexico, Latin America and Spain for years, but his success among a wider readership has grown since receiving the Herralde Prize for his novel El testigo.

Juchimán de Plata Award (Mexico)

The Juchimán de Plata Award is a prize granted by Juchimanes de Plata, a Mexican civil association, to those personalities distinguished by their achievements in arts and literature, in science and technology, in communication sciences, and in human rights and peace. Four Juchimán de Plata Awards are granted on an annually basis, at a state, national and international level. The Juchimán de Plata Award includes a 15-cm height silver replica of the huge Olmec sculpture of the same name (which was found in 1884 in the municipality of Huimanguillo, state of Tabasco), set on a wood base and including a golden plate and the high-relief foundation's logo. The reasons why the award is granted in each case are described therein. The prize is granted by the civil association's Permanent Directive Committee.

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List of Hondurans

This is a list of Honduran people:


Óscar Acosta

Salvador Aguirre (Honduras)

Juan José Alvarado

Oscar Álvarez

Oswaldo López Arellano

Juan Ángel Arias

Céleo Arias

Juan Ángel Arias Boquín

Miguel Paz Barahona

Francisco Bertrand

Elizabeth Azcona Bocock

Francisco Bográn

Luis Bográn

Policarpo Bonilla

Manuel Bonilla

Francisco Bueso

José Santiago Bueso

José María Bustillo

Miguel Oquelí Bustillo

José Trinidad Cabañas

Tiburcio Carías Andino

Victoriano Castellanos

Juan Alberto Melgar Castro

Coronado Chávez

Vicente Mejía Colindres

Roberto Suazo Córdova

Ramón Ernesto Cruz Uclés

Miguel R. Dávila

Francisco de Aguilar

Dionisio de Herrera

José Azcona del Hoyo

José Cecilio del Valle

Nora Gúnera de Melgar

Juan Francisco de Molina

Francisco Ferrera

Carlos Roberto Flores

Juan Manuel Gálvez

Policarpo Paz García

Mariano Garrigó

Crescencio Gómez

Francisco Gómez (acting president)

José Santos Guardiola

José María GuerreroSports

Edgar Álvarez

Eduardo Alonso Arriola Carter

Edwin Yobani Avila

Nahún Avila

Wilfredo Barahona

Mario Beata

Eduardo Bennet

Jefferson Bernárdez

Oscar Bernárdez

Robel Bernardez

Víctor Bernárdez

Mario René Berríos

Porfirio Armando Betancourt

John Alston Bodden

Mitchel Brown

Samuel Caballero

Ricardo Canales

Juan Manuel Cárcamo

José Cardona

Miguel Castillo

Mauricio Castro

Marvin Chávez

Osman Chávez

Jorge Claros

Reynaldo Clavasquín

Víctor Coello

Denilson Costa

Carlo Costly

Arnold Cruz

José Luis Cruz

José de la Paz Herrera

Julio César de León

Donis Escober

Dennis Ferrera

Maynor Figueroa

Milton Flores

Oscar Bonieck García

Elkin González

José Luis Grant

Iván Guerrero

Amado Guevara

Luis Guzman (football player)

José GuityAuthors

Ramón Amaya Amador

Eduardo Bähr

Ernesto Bondy Reyes

Augusto Coello

Javier Abril EspinozaEntertainment (Radio/TV/Film)

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Dunia Elvir

America Ferrera

Roxana KafatiUncategorized

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Julieta Castellanos

Leticia de Oyuela

Juan Di Frúneda

Héctor Flores

Rony García

Samir García

Astor Henriquez

Walter Hernández

Yermi Hernández

Francisco Inestroza

Emilio Izaguirre

Júnior Izaguirre

Milton Jiménez

Allan Lalín

Marlon Guillermo Lara Orellana

Ponciano Leiva

Johnny Leverón

Juan Lindo

Dani Lloyd

Porfirio Pepe Lobo

Luis López (Honduran footballer)

Rafael López Gutiérrez

Walter López (Honduran footballer)

Julio Lozano Díaz

Ricardo Maduro

Ramón Maradiaga

Elmer Marín

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Emil Martínez

Jairo Martínez

Javier Martínez (football player)

Ronald Martínez

Saul Martínez

Walter Martínez

Rubén Matamoros

Felipe Neri Medina

Héctor Medina

José María Medina

Nery Medina

Ninrod Medina

Carlos Will Mejía

Marcelino Mejía

Merlyn Membreño

Victor Mena

Carlos Mencia

Sergio Mendoza

Roberto Micheletti

David Molina

Salvador Moncada

Oscar Morales

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José Francisco Montes

Elmer Montoya

Donaldo Morales

Junior Morales

Leonardo Morales

Ramón Villeda Morales

Rony Morales

Carlos Morán

Francisco Morazán

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Milton Núñez

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Carlos Paez

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Adalid Puerto

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Jaime Rosales

Jaime Rosenthal

Yani Rosenthal

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Carlos Salgado

Juan Ramón Salgado

Marvin Sánchez

Neyda Sandoval

Luis Santamaría

Elvin Ernesto Santos

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Roberto Sosa (poet)

Marco Aurelio Soto

David Suazo

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Hendry Thomas

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Danilo Turcios

Ramón Ernesto Cruz Uclés

Fabio Ulloa

José Valladares

Melvin Valladares

Noel Valladares

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Edy Vasquez

Eddy Vega

Wilmer Velásquez

Diego Vigil Cocaña

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George Welcome

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Francisco Zelaya y Ayes

Héctor Zelaya

Manuel Zelaya

Xiomara de Zelaya

Oscar Zepeda

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The Guatemalan National Prize in Literature has been given annually since 1988 by the Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes (es) (Ministry of Culture and Sports) at ceremonies in the Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace of Culture). The winner receives a gold medal plus a cash award of 50 thousand quetzales.

Monterroso (disambiguation)

Monterroso may refer to:

PlacesMonterroso, a Galician municipalityPeopleAugusto Monterroso, a Guatemalan writer

Benjamín Monterroso, a Guatemalan football coach

José Benito Monterroso, a Uruguayan cleric

Rupert Glasgow

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Xavier Villaurrutia Award

The Xavier Villaurrutia Award (Premio Xavier Villaurrutia) is a prestigious literary prize given in Mexico, to a Latin American writer published in Mexico. Founded in 1955, it was named in memory of Xavier Villaurrutia.

Multiple awards have been given in some years. No award was made in 1968, when it was suspended in recognition of the imprisonment of José Revueltas who had won the award in 1967.

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