Claudia Amengual was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1969. She worked as a teacher for a few years and then as a translator for the state. She does research in socio-cultural linguistics, studies literature and since 2001 has been leading a writing workshop.
Amengual has been publishing stories in different journals since 1997, some of which have won competitions. In her work she deals above all with the inner world of the human being. She was awarded the Mexican Premio Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz for her third novel “Desde las cenizas” (2005; t: From the ashes) with the jury justifying their decision “because she treats the existential dilemmas of the everyday with a new vision, questions marriage as an institution, and because she records the complexity of human relationships with humour, acumen and irony”. The novel tells the story of a woman who – im pr isoned in familiar routines and used to pleasing everybody – stumbles unexpectedly into a virtual relationship with an unknown man, something that opens up unhoped-for new perspectives and possibilities. She starts becoming more aware of her own needs and eventually stands by them. She meanwhile discovers that her friends too suffer from an emotional void and loneliness in their relationships. These individual conflicts are mirrored in the reality of contemporary Latin America since the author sets her stories within the crisis and decay of Uruguay, from where young people in particular are emigrating en masse, not seeing any future for themselves in that country.
Amengual’s story-telling revolves around the description of emotional conditions which she then merges with lively dialogue full of wit and irony taken from everyday speech, as well as new textual forms, such as e-mail. In the pr ocess the inner logic and noteworthiness of individual figures remain in the foreground. The author thus succeeds in avoiding one-sided models of explanation and blame, and instead casts a loving and individual glance at the internal conflicts of every person and on the difficulties of human coexistence.
In 2007 she published a new novel, “Más que una sombra” (t: More than a shadow), in which she deals with the subject of suicide and thereby sheds light once more on the personal side of social pr oblems. The author lives in Montevideo.
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